High-performance readout ICs lower assembly costs

26th April 2021
Alex Lynn

ams has added new products to its family of readout ICs for digital X-ray flat panel detectors (FPDs), providing new flexible connector options which are easier for customers to assemble into their products at lower cost. 

The new AS585xB digital readout ICs are 16-bit, 256-channel charge-to-digital converters notable for their very low noise, enabling the generation of clear and detailed images when used in static and dynamic digital X-ray scanners, digital radiography, mammography, fluoroscopy, and interventional imaging, as well as in industrial systems for non-destructive testing (NDT). 

The new products complement the AS5850A readout IC introduced in June 2020, extending the ams portfolio of medical and industrial imaging sensing solutions which offer precision, high acquisition speeds, low noise, and ultra-low power consumption. 

Jose Vinau, Senior Marketing Director in the medical imaging business line at ams, said: “The AS585xB devices enable our customers to produce X-ray images of very high quality, thanks to their ultra-low noise, high bandwidth and low power consumption. These characteristics mean that they are suitable for use in newer, higher-performance IGZO detectors, as well as in existing TFT flat panel technology.”

Like the earlier AS5850A device, the AS585xB products high performance benchmarks for readout ICs used in medical equipment. The ‘B’ series products now also feature a new chip-on-flex design: this has a layer of stiffener on the low density side which makes it compatible with standard, off-the-shelf connectors. This provides a more flexible option for the imaging equipment manufacturer – the AS5850A has a proprietary connector which requires costly anisotropic conductive film (ACF) bonding. 

The AS585xB-type flex eases the production of imaging equipment assembled from an in house data acquisition system and a detector based on an AS585xB readout IC sourced from a third party FPD manufacturer. The AS585xB flex can be manually assembled to the data acquisition system without the requirement for costly and complex ACF bonding. 

The new AS585xB products also now feature a Built-In Self-Test (BIST) capability, enabling verification of the proper operation of the data acquisition system after assembly. This enables manufacturers to rapidly locate the source of errors in either the data acquisition or the detector system. 

The AS585xB series is available in three product variants. The AS5850B is optimised for low noise and high speed, enabling an FPD to achieve high image quality in dynamic or high speed imaging applications such as surgical radiography, while reducing the radiation dose to minimise the impact on the patient. For industrial scanning applications as well, the high speed of the AS5850B – it is optimised for a line scan time of 20µs, but can run at 15µs – enables higher throughput in automated optical inspection equipment. 

The AS5852B also introduced is optimised for low power operation to enable portable and battery-powered imaging equipment to acquire high quality images while extending battery run time. The new AS5851B offers a balance between power and speed optimisations. 

All three versions of the AS585xB series share a common footprint and pin out, so FPD manufacturers can easily build a family of products for different customer requirements or market segments with a single board design and host system interface. 

Pierre Laboisse, Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at ams, said: “Now with the addition of new chip-on-flex options, high quality ams readout ICs can be used in highly cost competitive segments of the medical imaging market, as well as in the broader industrial market, opening up additional markets worldwide to more ams products.”

ams can supply the AS585x series readout ICs with customer specific flex designs on request. 

The AS5850B, AS5851B and AS5852B readout IC products are available for sampling. An evaluation kit for the AS585xB series products is available from ams. 

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