Bob Michaels

December 1, 2010

1 Min Read
World's Fastest Camera Opens Up New Horizons for Biosensing Applications

The Megaframe 32 x 32 single photon avalanche diode array is fabricated using 0.13-µm CMOS technology by STMicroelectronics.

A European consortium comprising the National Physical Laboratory (Middlesex, UK), ST Microelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland)  the University of Edinburgh, and TU Delft (the Netherlands) has been working to develop an ultrafast camera that can record images at the rate of one million frames per second. Known as the Megaframe Imager, the camera consists of an extremely sensitive single photon avalanche diode device and bespoke on-chip intelligence. The device shows for the first time that it can potentially be used as a powerful technology in biosensing.

Since the introduction of solid-state optical sensors such as those found in digital cameras, the main trend has been toward increasing resolution while miniaturizing the chip. Another goal has been to dramatically increase the camera's speed. Until recently, fast cameras--those capable of capturing more than the 24 frames per second required for standard video--were only used in niche markets.

Now that higher-than-video speeds are achievable, new applications have opened up for the ultrafast camera, such as cellular and subcellular imaging, neural imaging, biochemical sensing, and DNA and protein microarray scanning.

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