X-Fab Silicon Foundries has launched a drop in version of its single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) device and process development kit (PDK) for applications in the near infrared (NIR).
The enhanced 180nm XH018 process has an additional step to significantly increase the signal by 40% and 35% at the key NIR wavelengths of 850nm and 905nm. This comes with the same low noise floor as previous devices without negatively affecting parameters such as dark count rate, afterpulsing and breakdown voltage.
The NIR capability is aimed at time-of-flight (TOF) sensing in industrial applications, vehicle LiDAR imaging, biophotonics and FLIM research work, plus a variety of different medical-related activities. Sensitivity is boosted over the whole NIR band, with respective improvements of
The NIR SPAD devices will reduce the complexity of visible light filtering as the UV and visible light is already suppressed. Filter designs will consequently be simpler, with fewer component parts involved. These also have the same footprint as the previous SPAD generation to provide a straightforward upgrade route to boost performance by swapping in the new devices.
X-FAB has developed a comprehensive PDK for the near-infrared SPAD variant, with extensive documentation and application notes featured. Models for optical and electrical simulation will provide additional design support to integrate the devices into designs.
“Our SPAD technology has already gained a very positive market response, seeing uptake with a multitude of customers. Thanks to continuing innovation at the process level, we have now been able to develop a solution that will secure business for us within various NIR applications, across automotive, healthcare and life sciences,” said Heming Wei, Product Marketing Manager Sensors at X-Fab.
The new NIR enhanced SPAD is available now.