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On Semi gets funding to develop advanced CMOS

Posted: 27 May 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CMOS  STELLAR programme  visible imagers  visible imaging systems 

ON Semiconductor has partnered with non-profit research institute SRI International and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. to obtain funding for its Advanced Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) Focal Plane Arrays (FPA) for Visible Sensors for Star Trackers (VSST) Project. On Semi was granted Defence Production Act Title III funding for the project that aims to increase the availability of domestically produced visible imagers that are manufactured using advanced CMOS technology.

The visible imagers On Semi is working on are designed to enable flexible visible imaging systems for use on-board satellite systems for Department of Defence and other U.S. Government needs.

To meet the goals of the Staring Technology for Enhanced Linear Line-of-sight Angular Recognition (STELLAR) programme, the companies will work together to define the specifications and develop an advanced 2D visible image sensor. Each member of the STELLAR team brings unique and complementary capabilities to the project team. ON Semi brings its on-shore and highly modular 180nm CMOS process technology along with its extensive experience designing high performance CMOS image sensors using both rolling and global shutter technology. Ball Aerospace brings deep understanding of star tracker systems and will drive the specification of the CMOS focal plane array as well as the end-system qualification aspects of the devices. SRI International brings extensive experience in designing focal plane arrays for space applications, along with a highly advanced backside illumination (BSI) processing capability based on its ultra-thin silicon on insulator (UTSOI) technology.

The ONC18 CMOS process manufactured at ON Semi's on-shore 8in wafer fabrication facility in Gresham, Oregon, is an ideal platform for developing low power and highly integrated digital and mixed-signal application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) devices, ON Semi said. The STELLAR programme will further expand the ONC18 process to include pinned photodiode and transfer gate devices. Combined with ON Semiconductor's long term commitment to maintain and support process technologies, this capability enabling development of advanced CMOS image sensors will extend supply availability.

"The addition of an image sensor module to our ONC18 platform reinforces our commitment to the space-level DoD business and the overall image sensor market," stated Vince Hopkin, vice president, mil/aero, digital, foundry, IPD and image sensor products division at ON Semi. "The ONC18 image sensor process capability will enable a second source capability for the markets we serve including machine-vision, high-speed and biometrics."

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