Marconi Applied Technologies of Chelmsford, UK, revealed at the SPIE annual meeting the development of a technology that amplifies CCD signals without amplifying their noise. Andor Technology Ltd. of Belfast, Northern Ireland, unveiled its DV465 camera, which is based on the Marconi chip and which it says produces images exceeding those from a comparable intensified CCD camera. The technology has scientific applications in medical research and diagnostics, andit could solve problems in low-light-level machine vision, surveillance and nondestructive testing.
Marconi's cooled CCD65 chip incorporates an output amplifier before the readout circuit, which reduces readout noise to < e rms at a 50-Hz frame rate. With 576 X 288 pixels at 20 X 30 µm in a 1-in. package, the chip is not ready for mainstream imaging or spectroscopy. The researchers intend to squeeze more from the technology in time for the Photonics West exhibition in January 2001.
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