MT3250BA: A 320x256-50 mu m Snapshot Microbolometer ROIC for High-Resistance Detector Arrays

Eminoglu S., Akin T.

Conference on Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIX, Maryland, United States Of America, 29 April - 03 May 2013, vol.8704 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 8704
  • Doi Number: 10.1117/12.2019525
  • City: Maryland
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper reports the development of a new microbolometer readout integrated circuit (MT3250BA) designed for high-resistance detector arrays. MT3250BA is the first microbolometer readout integrated circuit (ROIC) product from Mikro-Tasarim Ltd., which is a fabless IC design house specialized in the development of monolithic CMOS imaging sensors and ROICs for hybrid photonic imaging sensors and microbolometers. MT3250BA has a format of 320 x 256 and a pixel pitch of 50 mu m, developed with a system-on-chip architecture in mind, where all the timing and biasing for this ROIC are generated on-chip without requiring any external inputs. MT3250BA is a highly configurable ROIC, where many of its features can be programmed through a 3-wire serial interface allowing on-the-fly configuration of many ROIC features. MT3250BA has 2 analog video outputs and 1 analog reference output for pseudo-differential operation, and the ROIC can be programmed to operate in the 1 or 2-output modes. A unique feature of MT3250BA is that it performs snapshot readout operation; therefore, the image quality will only be limited by the thermal time constant of the detector pixels, but not by the scanning speed of the ROIC, as commonly found in the conventional microbolometer ROICs performing line-by-line (rolling-line) readout operation. The signal integration is performed at the pixel level in parallel for the whole array, and signal integration time can be programmed from 0.1 mu s up to 100 ms in steps of 0.1 mu s. The ROIC is designed to work with high-resistance detector arrays with pixel resistance values higher than 250 k Omega. The detector bias voltage can be programmed on-chip over a 2 V range with a resolution of 1 mV. The ROIC has a measured input referred noise of 260 mu V rms at 300 K. The ROIC can be used to build a microbolometer infrared sensor with an NETD value below 100 mK using a microbolometer detector array fabrication technology with a high detector resistance value (>= 250 K Omega), a high TCR value (>= 2.5 % / K), and a sufficiently low pixel thermal conductance (Gth <= 20 nW / K). The ROIC uses a single 3.3 V supply voltage and dissipates less than 75 mW in the 1-output mode at 60 fps. MT3250BA is fabricated using a mixed-signal CMOS process on 200 mm CMOS wafers, and tested wafers are available with test data and wafer map. A USB based compact test electronics and software are available for quick evaluation of this new microbolometer ROIC.