IC Design for Silicon Photomultiplier Applications

SensL are the market leaders for extremely low light sensing applications. They have established themselves as an industry leader in the area of Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) sensors which rely on the Geiger mode photodiode for operation. SensL also have sensors deployed in Biophotonics, Hazard & Threat Detection and LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) products, which are used by companies looking to introduce autonomous vehicles.

“We were pleased with the level of access to tools we got during the collaboration we had with MCCI. “ Carl Jackson, CEO SensL

Challenges

There is an ongoing drive for increased levels of integration in the areas of microelectronics and SensL are encountering demands from customers to address this issue. Increasingly, they must integrate their sensor with CMOS logic and develop an IP Library that is compatible with the developed process.

Benefits of Collaboration

SensL worked with MCCI under an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership, which enabled them to validate how Analogue Mixed Signal designs would perform in this custom CMOS/sensor process. SensL were able to leverage the existing design infrastructure that exists within MCCI, avoiding the immediate requirement to duplicate that in-house.

Research Outcomes

The development of a custom IP Library to complement SensL’s CMOS/sensor process creates a significant opportunity for them. Firstly, it will enable SensL to support higher levels of integration, thereby reducing cost of production. Secondly, a custom IP Library of building blocks which optimise the achievable performance by SensL’s SiPM sensors, enables additional market opportunities. Finally, this research will provide SensL with the capability to develop new features for future sensor-based products. This research project enabled continued growth within SensL, in terms of increased revenue, increased margins and profit.

We were pleased that this collaboration enabled SensL to leverage the knowledge and experience available within MCCI to collaborate in the development of a custom Analogue Mixed Signal IP library, which will add significant value to their planned CMOS/sensor process.” Donnacha O’Riordan, MCCI, Executive Director.