TowerJazz and Genoray develop CMOS image sensor for medical diagnostic equipment

TowerJazz, a global specialty foundry, and Genoray Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of digital X-ray devices, today announced collaboration on the successful development of a CMOS image sensor (CIS) for medical diagnostic devices such as X-ray equipment, fluoroscopy and radiography. Genoray utilized TowerJazz’s 0.18um CIS stitch process to develop the novel device which has a 100um pixel size and contains higher resolution compared to other devices on the market. Also, it has a special feature to control the sensitivity of the pixel which can be applied in various types of medical equipment such as surgical C-Arms and portable X-ray machines.

This new device is a CIS detector whereas the existing market uses a silicon TFT type sensor. The advantage of CIS compared to TFT is that CIS uses active pixels so it obtains the image with less noise and helps minimize X-ray radiation exposure which is currently the biggest issue in the industry. Furthermore, Genoray’s single detector supports both CT mode and Panorama mode while the existing products in the market only support one by one (CT supports only CT mode, Panorama supports Panorama mode only). This means that by providing multi-functions through one detector, Genoray can satisfy customers who need both modes with a less expensive price point; a competitive advantage of this product.

Genoray is targeting to replace the current market solution with this new, more efficient detector, providing a more cost-effective solution for medical equipment. The imaging device was manufactured using TowerJazz’s optimized pixel and stitch process which is able to maximize performance and offers a strong pixel structure towards radiographic exposure.

Stitching is a technology that enables the manufacture of products where the die size is greater than the area available with a single photo mask. With this technology, it is possible to produce dies up to full wafer size. TowerJazz has many years of production experience with stitching and owns the related patents. In addition, TowerJazz provides a 0.18um CIS PDK with outstanding modeling which helps to implement a very accurate read-out peripheral circuit in a limited timeframe.

As Genoray’s device can be applied in different types of medical equipment, its expected production volume is sizable, reaching multiple thousand wafer per year run rates. Genoray is engaged with numerous local and global supply chains and mass production is expected to successfully start in the near future. According to IHS, the market for CMOS imaging for medical electronics is growing rapidly from $64 million in 2012 to a projected $195 million in 2017, a CAGR of 25.1 percent.

“We are pleased that Genoray has successfully developed its medical imaging sensor with TowerJazz’s CIS process and is gearing up to release it to the market. We fully believe that this product will generate great response and demand as Genoray is known for its stable technical solutions and strong business power locally and globally. We hope that this success will bring more opportunities to work continually with Genoray for further technological achievements,” said Dr. Avi Strum, Vice President and General Manager, CMOS Image Sensor Business Unit, TowerJazz.

“With great support from TowerJazz, finally a new CIS image sensor for X-ray equipment was developed. TowerJazz’s CIS process is well-known for superior performance. I have no doubt that the collaboration between TowerJazz and Genoray will bring a successful outcome for production in terms of quality and production size,” said In Jae Lee, Chief Technology Officer of Genoray.

Besides this CIS detector development, TowerJazz and Genoray are consistently working together and making investments to develop various other innovative applications.

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