ON Semiconductor’s Advanced CMOS Process Expertise Enables Groundbreaking Image Sensor For Astronomy

ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ONNN), driving innovation in energy efficiency, has collaborated with Teledyne Imaging Sensors to manufacture an Extremely Large Stitched Read Out Integrated Circuit (ELS ROIC) for astronomy. The H4RG-15 image sensor, designed by Teledyne, is the latest generation of a 20-year effort sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Teledyne internal funding to develop increasingly larger and more powerful infrared sensors for astronomical research.

The 16 megapixel H4RG-15, which consists of Teledyne’s HgCdTe detector material hybridized to a CMOS readout circuit, is the largest sensor ever produced for infrared astronomy. An enabling technology in the development of the H4RG-15 is the ability to fabricate and reliably yield the 63 mm x 63 mm stitched CMOS ROIC using ON Semiconductor’s proprietary 180 nanometer process technology. The ROIC is so large that only four die fit onto a 200 mm wafer.

The high yield for these ELS ROICs can be attributed to the expertise and yield improvement efforts made by ON Semiconductor’s wafer fabrication team in collaboration with its Custom Foundry Division. The H4RG-15 readouts were manufactured at ON Semiconductor’s wafer manufacturing facility located in Gresham, Oregon. With this project, ON Semiconductor has demonstrated that it can successfully produce the H4RG-15 with the yield required for this next generation sensor.

The H4RG-15 sensor has been installed at the University of Hawaii’s observatory on Mauna Kea to confirm the performance of the sensor under telescope observing conditions. “The resolution with which images can be captured using this new sensor system represents a major step forward in the progression of IR astronomy,” said Dr. Donald Hall of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, who is the principal investigator for the NSF-funded H4RG-15 development program.

The H4RG-15 is the next step in the highly successful HxRG family of image sensors that Teledyne has developed and delivered to the leading astronomical observatories, on ground and in space, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, and every major ground-based observatory.

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