AMIC: An expandable integrated analog front-end for light distribution moment analysis

Research areas:
Spaggiari, M.; Herrero, V.; Lerche, C. W.; Aliaga, R.; Monzó, J. M.; Gadea, R.
Type of Publication:
Analogue electronic circuits, Gamma camera, SPECT, PET PET-CT, coronary CT angiography, Front-end electronics for detector readout


In this article we introduce AMIC (Analog Moments Integrated Circuit), a novel analog Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) front-end for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) applications. Its working principle is based on mathematical analysis of light distribution through moments calculation. Each moment provides useful information about light distribution, such as energy, position, depth of interaction, skewness (deformation due to border effect) etc. A current buffer delivers a copy of each input current to several processing blocks. The current preamplifier is designed in order to achieve unconditional stability under high input capacitance, thus allowing the use of both Photo-Multiplier Tubes (PMT) and Silicon Photo-Multipliers (SiPM). Each processing block implements an analog current filtering by multiplying each input current by a programmable 8-bit coefficient. The latter is implemented through a high linear MOS current divider ladder, whose high sensitivity to variations in output voltages requires the integration of an extremely stable fully differential current collector. Output currents are then summed and sent to the output stage, that provides both a buffered output current and a linear rail-to-rail voltage for further digitalization. Since computation is purely additive, the 64 input channels of AMIC do not represent a limitation in the number of the detector’s outputs. Current outputs of various AMIC structures can be combined as inputs of a final AMIC, thus providing a fully expandable structure. In this version of AMIC, 8 programmable blocks for moments calculation are integrated, as well as an I2C interface in order to program every coefficient. Extracted layout simulation results demonstrate that the information provided by moment calculation in AMIC helps to improve tridimensional positioning of the detected event. A two-detector test-bench is now being used for AMIC prototype characterization and preliminary results are presented.

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