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Instruments 2017, 1(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments1010006

LinoSPAD: A Compact Linear SPAD Camera System with 64 FPGA-Based TDC Modules for Versatile 50 ps Resolution Time-Resolved Imaging

Advanced Quantum Architecture Lab (AQUA), Microengineering Department, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 2002 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
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Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Particle Detectors and Electronics for Fast Timing)
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Abstract

The LinoSPAD camera system is a modular, compact and versatile time-resolved camera system, combining a linear 256 high fill factor pixel CMOS SPAD (single-photon avalanche diode) sensor with an FPGA (field-programmable gate array) and USB 3.0 transceiver board. This modularization permits the separate optimization or exchange of either the sensor front-end or the processing back-end, depending on the intended application, thus removing the traditional compromise between optimal SPAD technology on the one hand and time-stamping technology on the other hand. The FPGA firmware implements an array of 64 TDCs (time-to-digital converters) with histogram accumulators and a correction module to reduce non-linearities. Each TDC is capable of processing over 80 million photon detections per second and has an average timing resolution better than 50 ps. This article presents a complete and detailed characterization, covering all aspects of the system, from the SPAD array light sensitivity and noise to TDC linearity, from hardware/firmware/software co-design to signal processing, e.g., non-linearity correction, from power consumption to performance non-uniformity. View Full-Text
Keywords: CMOS; SPAD; FPGA; TDC; single-photon avalanche diodes; image sensor; time-resolved; hardware/firmware/software co-design CMOS; SPAD; FPGA; TDC; single-photon avalanche diodes; image sensor; time-resolved; hardware/firmware/software co-design
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Burri, S.; Bruschini, C.; Charbon, E. LinoSPAD: A Compact Linear SPAD Camera System with 64 FPGA-Based TDC Modules for Versatile 50 ps Resolution Time-Resolved Imaging. Instruments 2017, 1, 6.

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