A VLSI optical detector array employing heterodyne detection
Soni, Tejvansh Singh
The integration of image sensors with circuitry for driving the image sensor and performing on-chip signal processing is becoming increasingly popular for a multitude of signal processing applications. A high degree of on-chip signal processing helps enable miniaturization of instrument systems and simplify system interfaces. In this work, the design of a powerful and versatile VLSI optical sensor array, with on-chip circuitry to perform temporal electronic heterodyne detection on a pixel-bypixel basis is presented. Heterodyne detection techniques significantly enhance the dynamic range and signal to noise ratio, as compared to base-band detectors. The unavailability of heterodyne detector arrays has been a bottleneck in many imageprocessing systems, restricting the use of heterodyne detection techniques to scanning based systems, or systems having a single temporal output, such as acousto-optic space integrating correlators and convolvers. The need for heterodyne detector arrays in acousto-optics has been emphasized by prominent researchers in the field.