Imec Demonstrates Hyperpectral CMOS Camera

February 4, 2013. At SPIE Photonics West 2013 (February 2-7 in San Francisco), imec is presenting a prototype hyperspectral imager for snapshot and video acquisition as well as a line-scan version.

Being fast, compact, and cost-efficient, imec’s CMOS-based imaging systems with integrated hyperspectral filters are suited for next-generation industrial inspection, medical diagnosis, and security applications. Imec is currently sampling the line-scan version of its hyperspectral imaging solution, offering a ready-to-use evaluation kit to the industry to line-scan and analyze specific sample material.

Imec’s prototype hyperspectral imager for snapshot and video captures an entire multispectral image at one discrete point in time. The imager is achieved by applying a hyperspectral filter in a novel tiled lay-out on a commercially available CMOS-based image sensor (a 2-megapixel, 340-fps max CMOSIS CMV2000). The imager and off-the-shelf fore-optics simultaneously duplicate the scene onto each filter tile, acquiring multispectral image cubes of 256 x 256 pixels over 32 bands in the spectral range of 600 to 1,000 nm at up to 340 cubes per second—compliant to normal machine-vision illumination levels. Due to its simple cube assembly process, the camera is able to acquire real-time hyperspectral video.

Imec’s line-scan solution monolithically integrates hyperspectral filters on a 4-megapixel, 180-fps max CMOSIS CMV4000 imager. It scans 100 spectral bands in the 600- to 1,000-nm wavelength range. The filter bandwidth (full width half max) is about 10 nm across the spectral range, with a transmission efficiency of about 85%. The speed of the system corresponds to an equivalent speed of 2,000 lines per second, significantly exceeding current state-of-the-art hyperspectral sensors.

Imec said it is the first to sample CMOS integrated hyperspectral imaging sensors, giving the industry access to innovative technology. Evaluation kits of imec’s line-scan solution are available now. They are fast and easy to set-up, enabling hyperspectral scanning and analysis of sample material, and delivering relevant test data within a few days after installation. The kits include all required components, from imager to host PC and software, and can be easily rebuilt into different configurations. During the course of 2013, imec expects to also launch evaluation systems compatible with its novel hyperspectral sensor for hyperspectral snapshot and video acquisition.

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