ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide designer and manufacturer of high-performance analog ICs and sensor solutions for consumer & communications, industrial & medical and automotive applications, announced today that it is supplying a highly integrated ASIC which enables a new Siemens photo-detector module for computer tomography (CT) to deliver higher resolution images at lower X-ray dosages.
The ams ASIC, which is part of Siemens’ new Stellar CT photo-detector module, captures and digitizes images of a patient’s body. It combines a high-resolution photodiode with a low-noise ADC in a stacked-dice (3D-integrated) configuration.
The ASIC from ams is the result of a collaboration with Siemens that began in 2005 which was aimed at producing a new generation of photo-detector module offering radically improved performance in line with the demand from oncologists and other medical professionals.
Medical professionals have two key requirements for new CT equipment:
The ASIC has delivered a breakthrough in analog sensor performance, dramatically reducing noise in the sensitive analog signal chain between the photo-diode and the ADC. In order to produce such a marked improvement in performance, the ASIC development project drew on a broad range of capabilities at ams. These include:
The dramatic improvements in linearity, noise reduction and speed in the ams ASIC are reflected in the substantial gains in performance of the new Stellar photo-detector module over the previous-generation product it replaces. According to Siemens, the new Stellar detector offers:
According to Siemens Healthcare, in the Stellar detector “Siemens has combined the photodiode and the ADC in one application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for the first time in the history of CT, reducing the path of the signal. The new ASIC consumes 85% less power and dissipates less heat, further reducing electronic noise.”
Michael Leitner, Director of Marketing at ams Industrial/Medical BU, asserted: “The successful delivery of an ASIC with breakthrough performance calls for close collaboration and teamwork with the customer. ams began work with Siemens on what would become the Stellar detector in 2005. Our understanding of the requirements of high-end medical applications, and of Siemens’ specific requirements, was absolutely essential to the successful delivery of the ASIC which ams is now shipping for assembly in the Stellar product.”