Multi-channel readout for arrays of SiPM – the IDE3380

The integrated circuit was developed under contract from ESA and the Norwegian Space Center.

The IDEAS IDE3380 is a general purpose integrated circuit (IC) for the readout of silicon photomultipliers (SiPM). The SiPM is a relatively new type of optical sensor for the detection and timing of single photons. While the IC was designed primarily for arrays with many SiPM, it can also read out state-of-the-art

photomultiplier tubes (PMT). Like PMT, SiPM and arrays of SiPM can be used for many applications, for example, medical imaging, life sciences, industrial scanning, and range finding.

The requirements for this IC were derived from needs in space science, in particular for Gamma-Ray Imaging, Polarimetry and Spectroscopy (GRIPS), scintillating fibers for a gamma-ray telescope (PANGU) and astro-particle missions (HERD). These and many other space-borne instruments are producing results that are essential for our understanding of the universe, the solar system and our planet.

Operation in space requires radiation tolerance and low power dissipation. Therefore, special design effort has been on latch-up immunity, single event upset mitigation and error corrections, as well as low-power design and programmable power-down. The circuit covers a wide range of detector technologies and applications in space and terrestrial, for example, high-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy, detector front-end readout for diagnostic imaging in nuclear medicine, fast photon counting, and timing.


IDEAS development environment.

IDE3380 IC connected to SiPM


System developers benefit from the IDE3380 development kit, which helps them to become familiar with IDE3380 and reduces their time-to-product. The IDE3380 development kit contains the IC on a test board and a readout system that connects to standard PC via Ethernet. The software allows one to program the IC and characterize the performance and measure data with up to 16 SiPMs.

The integrated circuit IDE3380 is ideal for the readout of large arrays of SiPMs. Each readout channel has an input stage for programmable gain and offset adjustment, analogue signal processing and digitization of the signals. These functions have previously been built with discrete devices.

The state-of-the-art integrated circuit technology allows engineers to integrate the auxiliary electronics in a system-on-chip and thereby increase the performance and reliability, and significantly reduce power, weight and size. The reduced weight and power is essential for lowering the cost for launch from Earth and operations in space.

“For many years IDEAS delivers to scientific experiments in space that are procured by ESA, NASA, JAXA, CAS, ISRO and recently small satellite missions.” said Aage Kalsæg, CMO at IDEAS.

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Integrated Detector Electronics AS (IDEAS) is a privately held, R&D driven, semiconductor company, based in Norway. The company designs application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) and subsystems for radiation detection and imaging, with emphasis on sensor and detector readout.

IDEAS ICs enable precise measurements of natural and man-made radioactivity, and has developed Intellectual Property for radiation hardened and extended temperature range.

IDEAS was founded in 1992 by scientist and engineers with background from The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the University of Oslo.


D. Meier et al., “SIPHRA 16-Channel Silicon Photomultiplier Readout ASIC”, Proc. AMICSA&DSP 2016, 12-16 June 2016, Gothenburg, Sweden. Available from


Press Release Contact: Aage Kalsæg;

Posted in Press Releases.