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Latest X-FAB SPAD Devices Feature Accentuated NIR Response Characteristics

19 November 2023

X-FAB has announced further progression in the area of single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) technology. The foundry is now in a position to offer devices with greatly improved near-infrared (NIR) sensitivity.

With respect to key NIR wavelengths, the improvement figures are notably large - achieving 40% at 850nm and 35% at 905nm. Such performance boots will open up a multitude of opportunities in relation to industrial time-of-flight (ToF) sensing implementations, automotive LiDAR, biophotonics and fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), as well as various medical-related activities. Just like the prior X-FAB SPAD generation (which was brought out 2 years back), this new version is based on the company’s 180nm XH018 high-voltage CMOS process. Adding an extra fabrication step has resulted in significant increases in signal while keeping the same low noise floor, but has not led to any detrimental impact on parameters like dark count rate, afterpulsing feedback or breakdown voltage. 

Using the new NIR-enhanced SPAD devices will allow a reduction in visible light filtering complexity. Filter designs will thus be more streamlined, requiring fewer components. By sharing an identical footprint with the earlier SPAD generation, upgrading is made much easier. 

“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,” Heming Wei, X-FAB’ Product Marketing Manager for Sensors, comments. or breakdown voltage. 

Using the new NIR-enhanced SPAD devices will allow a reduction in visible light filtering complexity. Filter designs will thus be more streamlined, requiring fewer components. By sharing an identical footprint with the earlier SPAD generation, upgrading is made much easier. 

“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,” Heming Wei, X-FAB’ Product Marketing Manager for Sensors, comments.


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