Hyperspectral cameras can discriminate between different objects that cannot be accurately distinguished using traditional RGB (red-green-blue) imaging methods. They can be very useful in a variety of applications such as crop screening, food selection, skin cancer detection, target detection, etc. but their size, price and very limited speed make them unsuitable for time-critical or high-throughput applications.
A new hyperspectral sensor developed at Imec now offers a large speed improvement allowing frame rates of up to 500 fps, a figure that is compatible with real industrial requirements. The new CMOS compatible sensor consists of a set of spectral filters that are directly post-processed at wafer level on top of a commercial 4 megapixel sensor. The hyperspectral filter has 100 spectral bands between 560 nm and 1000 nm with bandwidths that range from 3 nm at 560 nm to 20 nm at 1000 nm and a transmission efficiency of around 85 %.