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European Organization for Nuclear Research

Fast front-end readout electronics for photon and electron counting applications

Front-end readout electronics for photon and electron counting applications


Based on developments for experiments at the LHC collider, CERN has developed various high performance readout chips for a potential use in medical imaging, life science applications and material research. In combination with ultra fast photon and electron detectors, this technology offers extremely fast and low noise photon and electron counting possibilities, providing significant advances in domains such as photon sciences and electron spectroscopy.

Area of expertise

Fast and radiation hard binary front-end electronics for particle tracking with silicon strip detectors in LHC experiments at CERN.


  • Electron spectroscopy.
  • Electron and photon counting in life science and medical imaging.

Innovative features

Compact packaging through 0.25µm CMOS technology 16 to 128 channels per chip.


  • Low power consumption (<2mW / channel).
  • Maximal few hundred electrons noise for input capacities less than 10pF.
  • High counting rate (5 MHz/mm2).
  • High radiation hardness .


For the application domain of Computer Tomography (CT) this technology is exclusively marketed by Interon AS, Norway.

Intellectual Property status

Various ready-to-use chip models can be licensed and are available off the shelf or can be produced on short term. CERN provides support and solutions (data acquisition, chip boards, readout software) for integration of such chips with user specific detectors and support structures upon request.

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