Friday, December 27, 2013

Hamamatsu Presents 90,000-Pixel SPAD Imager, More

Hamamatsu News 2013, Vol. 2 presents a number of multi-pixel SPAD devices, or as the company calls them, Multi-Pixel Photon Counters (MPPC) with pixel sizes spanning from 10um to 100um:

The 400-pixel S12576-050 and 3600-pixel S12577-050 MPPCs include Peltier cooling element in quite a compact package:

The S12572-010C boasts resolution of 90,000 pixels on a 3mm x 3mm die, with pixel pitch of 10um. Impressive resolution and pixel size for a photon counter:


  1. These look like Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPMs/MPPCs) that Hamamatsu has produced for a long time. They are not imagers and are instead point detectors which can be used to count and time photon arrivals over the whole sensor area without any positional information, i.e. the whole die 3x3mm is one pixel in the image sensor sense.

    CMOS SPAD projects such as MiSPIa and Megaframe preserve positional information with electronics in the pixel but the fill factor is much lower as a result.

    1. Thanks. I was puzzled to see just two external pins on the 90,000 pixel device. Now it makes sense.

  2. This is correct.
    The pixels are not for imaging but rather for dynamic range (depending on quite how low the incident light level, you can trade off photon detection efficiency for sensitivity).
    Although these MPPCs have been manufactured for a long time, this is actually a new generation, with lower dark noise, lower afterpulsing %, lower crosstalk and a faster time response.
    They can be used for imaging to some extent, for example in a 4x4 array for applications like PET, but you are quite right, they are not "image sensors".


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