A low power readout circuit approach for uncooled resistive microbolometer FPAs

Tepegoz M., Toprak A., AKIN T.

34th Conference on Infrared Technology and Applications, Florida, United States Of America, 17 - 20 March 2008, vol.6940 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 6940
  • Doi Number: 10.1117/12.786609
  • City: Florida
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper presents a new, low power readout circuit approach for uncooled resistive microbolometer FPAs. The readout circuits of the microbolometer detectors contain parallel readout channels whose outputs are driven and multiplexed on large bus capacitances in order to form the output of the readout circuit. High number of opamps used in the readout channel array and large output capacitances that these opamps should drive necessitates the use of high output current capacity structures, which results in large power dissipation. This paper proposes two new methods in order to decrease the power dissipation of the readout circuits for uncooled thermal FPAs. The first method is called the readout channel group concept, where the readout channel array is separated into groups in order to decrease the load capacitance seen by the readout channel output. The second method utilizes a special opamp architecture where the output current driving capacity can be digitally controlled. This method enables efficient use of power by activating the high output current driving capacity only during the output multiplexing. The simulations show that using these methods results in a power dissipation reduction of 80% and 91% for the readout channels optimized for a single output 384x288 FPA operating at 25 fps and for a two-output 640x480 FPA operating at 30 fps, respectively.