The main objectives of MINOSS are to:
- develop a unified design methodology for micro-integrated optical sensor systems
- design a corresponding library of modules and general building blocks
- demonstrate these results.
Process characterization, methodology definition, behavioural modelling, cell/chip design and system design have been carried out for micro-integrated optical sensor systems. The optical behaviour of the target technology was characterized by a set of optical measurements on specially designed and fabricated test photodiodes. The results showed good uniformity in response and satisfactory spectral responsiveness in the 350-900 nm range after removal of the oxide and passivation over the photodiodes.
Guidelines for the design of analogue and digital circuits in an optically active environment were compiled. Behavioural modelling of optical components was started for photodiodes and photoemitters. A third metal layer was added to the process to shield the circuits from stray light without redesigning the existing cell libraries.
The detailed architectures and the interface standards of the 3 demonstrators were finalized and preliminary versions of a complete colour measurement system based on discrete components and the electronics for the miniature spectrometer were demonstrated. Design has been completed and silicon is being fabricated for the following cells: an integrated version of the intelligent sensor for spectrometry, including 512 pixel linear photodiode array, charge amplifier, cyclic 10 bit analogue to digital converter, second order polynomial solver for calibration and microprocessor interface; a macrocell containing a 128 x 128 pixel 2-dimensional array with charge amplifier; a 64 x 64 pixel 2-dimensional array with on-chip analogue circuitry for motion detection; a synchronous modulator/demodulator, and the digital portion of a 20 bit sigma-delta analogue to digital converter. The silicon of these cells is currently being fabricated. A 3-step 8 bit flash analogue to digital video converter, a 256 x 256 pixel array with embedded converters and building blocks for a digital convolver are currently being designed.
The design methods and block descriptions will be embedded in existing CAD tools to speed up the design process while reducing the risk of introducing errors, inconsistencies or incompatibilities. A central goal is to develop methods and tools that can easily migrate to the design environments available to SMEs. The target technology is conventional analogue CMOS with state-of-the-art transistor line-widths.
The following three demonstrators will be used to test and validate the results:
- a single optical element for remote active fibre-optic colour measurements of physical parameters, such as measurements of blood oxygenation levels
- a linear array of sensors for industrial process surveillance and control using a pocket spectrometer
- a bi-dimensional array of sensors for use in an "intelligent" camera for industrial/environmental control and interactive video applications.
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