The Medipix3 Collaboration was formed in 2005 to develop the Medipix3 chip in 130nm CMOS. Thanks to the success of the Collaboration and its organic growth it also developed the Timepix3 chip. Both chips go much further than Medipix2 permitting colour imaging at different rates. Medipix3 provides frame based readout with a continuous read/write feature. Timepix3 uses a data driven architecture to send hot information off chip. The new features of both chips have triggered a range of new application areas for the technology.

These chips are available for licensing.

The Medipix3 Chip

Description: Medipix3 is a CMOS pixel detector readout chip designed to be connected to a segmented semiconductor sensor. Like its predecessor, Medipix2, it acts as a camera taking images based on the number of particles which hit the pixels when the electronic shutter is open. However, Medipix3 goes much further than Medipix2 permitting colour imaging and dead time free operation. A novel charge summing and allocation scheme is implemented at the pixel level permitting proper binning of the energy of incoming photons overcoming the effects of fluorescence and charge diffusion. As there are 2 counters in each 55μm pixel the chip can be programmed such that one counter is being read out while the other is counting. It is also possible to connect the chip to a sensor matrix with a pitch of 110μm. In this way, up to 8 counters are available per pixel.

Features & Applications

Features:

  • Pixel size 55x55μm or 110μm x 110μm
  • 256 x 256  or 128 x 128 pixels
  • Charge summing and allocation scheme – mitigating charge sharing
  • 2 thresholds per 55mm pixel each with 5 bits of local adjustment
  • High gain mode (HG, lower linearity, lower noise) or low gain mode (LG)
  • Configurable counter depths: 2 x 1-bit, 2 x 4-bit, 2 x 12-bit, 1 x 24-bit
  • Continuous or sequential data acquisition and readout
  • 3-side buttable (with a single 0.8mm dead edge)
  • TSV ready

Applications:

  • Adaptive optics and other visible or near visible light applications
  • Astrophysics
  • Background radiation monitoring
  • Digital Autoradiography
  • Dosimetry
  • Education
  • Electron microscopy
  • Life Sciences 
  • Neutron imaging
  • Various X-ray and gamma-ray imaging applications
  • X-ray polarimetry measurements

Specifications
General
CMOS technology 0.13 μm
Pixel size 55μm x 55μm
Pixel matrix 256 x 256
Design CERN
Analog front end (pixel cell)
Signal polarity Positive and negative
Leakage current -10nA to +20nA
Time to peak 120ns
Noise

80 e- (SPM)

175 e- (CSM)

Threshold variation (after tuning) 35 e- rms
Minimum operating treshold 700 e-
Digital part (pixel cell + periphery)
Configurable counter depths

2 x 1-bit
2 x 4-bit
2 x 12-bit
1 x 24-bit

25 DACs (10 9-bit and 15 8-bit) to set voltages in the chip  
LVDS drivers and receivers (configuration of the chip in serial mode)  
Parallel data port configurable to 1, 2, 4 or 8 LVDS lines  
Readout time 8 parallel LVDS lines (200 MHz clock, 12 bit counters) 491μs
Continuous Read/Write  YES
Hit rate 28 - 826 Mcounts/mm2/s depending on configuration  
Total analog power consumption (nominal conditions) 440mW
Total digital power consumption (@100MHz) 450mW

Key Facts


Collaboration Partners: View page

Intellectual Property Status:
Ready for licensing.

The Timepix3 Chip

Description: Timepix3 is a general-purpose integrated circuit suitable for readout of both semiconductor detectors and gas-filled detectors. Compared to Timepix1 the circuit has more functionality, better time resolution and more advanced architecture for continuous sparse data readout with zero-suppression. Timepix3 can be used in a wide range of applications varying from X-rays imaging to particle track reconstruction. Depending on the application requirements user can choose one out of three data acquisition modes available in the Timepix3. In the data driven mode both arrival time information and charge deposit information are sent off chip for each hit together with the coordinates of the active pixel. The chosen architecture allows for continuous and trigger-free readout of sparsely distributed data with the rate up to 40Mhits•cm-2 •sec-1. For imaging applications and for calibrations the possibility exists of operating in frame-based (non-continuous) data readout mode.

Features & Applications

Features:

  • Pixel size 55μm x 55μm
  • 256 x 256 pixels
  • Timepix3 is suitable for readout of both semiconductor detectors and gas-filled detectors
  • Single thresholds per pixel each with 4 bits of local adjustment
  • Two main measurement modes: (1) simultaneous 10 bit ToT and 18 bit TOA and (2) 10 bit event counting and 14 bit integral TOT
  • TOT monotonic for large positive charges
  • Fast TOA for time stamping with a precision of 1.56 ns
  • Data driven readout: dead time free, for a maximum hit rate of 40 Mhits/s/cm^2
  • Shutdown/wake-up features for power pulsing tests on a full system
  • 3-side buttable (with a single 1.2mm dead edge)
  • TSV ready

Applications:

  • X-rays imaging
  • Particle track reconstruction.
  • Timepix3 is suitable for readout of both semiconductor detectors and gas-filled detectors.

Specifications
General
CMOS technology 0.13μm
Pixel size 55μm x 55μm
Pixel matrix 256 x 256
Design CERN, NIKHEF, Bonn University
Analog front end (pixel cell)
Signal polarity Positive and negative
Leakage current -10nA to +20nA
TOA jitter and mismatch Compatible with 1.56ns resolution (gas detector applications)
Time to peak 25ns
Noise 62 e- rms
Threshold variation (after tuning) 30 e- rms
Minimum operating treshold 500 e-
Digital part (pixel cell + periphery)
TOA precision 1.56ns
Number of bits per hit 48
Data sent per hit x, y TOT (10 bits) TOA (18 bits)
Readout uses up to 8 parallel LVDS lines (200 MHZ clock)  
Total analog power consumption (nominal conditions) 440mW
Total digital power consumption (@100MHz) 450mW

Contact Person:

Michael Campbell

Michael Campbell

Spokesperson
For questions related to the collaborations.