BLUMINO, the first fully integrated analog SiPM with on-chip time conversion

Silicon photomultipliers have shown to be an effective replacement of photomultiplier tubes in fast timing and/or high magnetic field applications, such as time-of-flight PET and PET-MRI. PET is one of the
applications in which SiPMs are most useful, especially with the trend towards integrating PET-MRI systems together.
Several studies over the past decade proposed developments in PET systems based on SiPM detectors both for human and small animal imaging.
BLUMINO is the first fully integrated state-of-the-art analog SiPM with on-chip time conversion.
The combination of a photodetector together with on-chip readout circuitry in close proximity enables system-level advantages such as
internal parasitic reduction for better timing resolution, but also overall simplicity and compactness. The sensor presents a digital output in an integrated solution and backward compatibility.
The system comprises a C-series analog SiPM developed by ON Semiconductor with on-chip time-to-digital converter and comparator.
The design was implemented in 0.35 μm CMOS technology. The proposed analog SiPM features a photon detection efficiency greater than 40% at 420 nm wavelength. Thanks to the small size of the electronics, the overall sensor fill factor is 75% and its sensitive area is 3×3 mm2.
The SiPM’s fast output, which is a specialized terminal for fast timing output signals and it has a parasitic capacitance of about 12 pF.
The objective of this project is to design fast timing detectors suitable for ToF-PET.

Relevant Publications

A. Muntean et al., “A Fully Integrated State-of-the-Art Analog SiPM with on-chip Time Conversion,” 2018 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference Proceedings (NSS/MIC), Sydney, Australia, 2018, pp. 1-3. doi: 10.1109/NSSMIC.2018.8824662


Andrada Alexandra Muntean

Edoardo Charbon