Diagnostic imaging  

Varian introduces digital X-ray detector for medical, and semiconductor markets

18 July 2006

Salt Lake City, USA. Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE:VAR) has introduced the PaxScan 1313, designed for low-cost, high-quality X-ray imaging. Optimized for use in dental and orthopaedic imaging and semiconductor inspection systems, it offers a 13 x 13 cm imaging area and produces up to 30 images per second.

The PaxScan 1313 is designed to replace the six-inch image intensifiers currently used in many orthopaedic and dental imaging systems. "Image intensifier tubes offer only 8-bit depth, they degrade over time, and they must be replaced frequently in some cases, raising their cost," Okamoto points out. "Image quality is better with the PaxScan detector. It generates images of up to 16,000 shades of gray thanks to a 14-bit depth ADC (analog-to-digital) converter, giving it the highest contrast resolution available for a panel of this size. With higher contrast resolution, clinicians can see more detail. A flat panel imager also doesn't exhibit the pin cushion distortion characteristic of image intensifier tubes."

The panel's 127-micron pixel pitch — one of the smallest in the industry — results in a high signal-to-noise ratio, yielding high-quality images with enhanced contrast resolution and no distortion anywhere in the imaging area. For medical imaging applications, the panel features an efficient Caesium Iodide (CsI) scintillator optimized for scanning at 80-90 kilovolts (kV) in order to minimize the X-ray dose to the patient.

For semiconductor inspection applications, the PaxScan 1313 is a durable flat-panel digital image detector with the processing speed needed to inspect thousands of chips per hour. According to Okamoto, it is capable of high-speed screening of ball-grid-arrays (BGA) and lead-grid-aArrays (LGA). The panel utilizes amorphous (non-crystalline) silicon, which makes it more resilient than competing CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) wafer detectors, and capable of lasting up to five times longer, even in highly demanding round-the-clock semiconductor screening operations."

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