Dolphin Integration demonstrates the excellence of its expertise in design and integration services through the development of a new circuit showing performances never reached. This development was performed in the frame of the preparation of the “Loft mission”, scientific satellite of X-ray detection, in close collaboration with IRAP (Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie) laboratory and CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales).
This circuit aims to interface with a SDD sensor (Silicon Drift Detector). It embeds complex and low noise analogic blocs like a pre-amplifier, a shaper and a peak & hold. It offers the best noise and temperature linearity performances on the market: the noise was measured at 21.6 electrons at 25°C, which is twice better than most of this type of circuits on this market!
These performances were achieved while respecting the low power consumption constraint with a result under 320 µA at 1.8 V.
The silicon measurements are fitting perfectly the initial specification of the circuit and the simulations. They were realized on prototypes using a 180 nm technology, at temperatures between -50°C and +25°C.
“IRAP had the technical responsibility of the R&D contract signed between Dolphin Integration and the CNES for the study of this ASIC: functionality and performance specification and development follow-up. The low-noise and low-power consumption constraints were huge and the development schedule was very short (5 months). Thanks to a close collaboration with the development team of Dolphin and its efficiency, the tape-out date was respected. The noise and power consumption specifications are reached.
This is a good collaboration example between a research laboratory, the CNES and the industry, which results in a high performance product. The next step of this collaboration will target an ASIC close to the instrument needs of LOFT” declared Alain Cros, ASIC project leader for the LOFT mission.
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