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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 523429, 25 pages
Research Article

Fast Readout Architectures for Large Arrays of Digital Pixels: Examples and Applications

Physics and Astronomy Department and INFN, University of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 6/2, I 40127 Bologna, Italy

Received 19 November 2013; Accepted 29 December 2013; Published 19 March 2014

Academic Editors: L. Gaioni and D. Tsoukalas

Copyright © 2014 A. Gabrielli. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Modern pixel detectors, particularly those designed and constructed for applications and experiments for high-energy physics, are commonly built implementing general readout architectures, not specifically optimized in terms of speed. High-energy physics experiments use bidimensional matrices of sensitive elements located on a silicon die. Sensors are read out via other integrated circuits bump bonded over the sensor dies. The speed of the readout electronics can significantly increase the overall performance of the system, and so here novel forms of readout architectures are studied and described. These circuits have been investigated in terms of speed and are particularly suited for large monolithic, low-pitch pixel detectors. The idea is to have a small simple structure that may be expanded to fit large matrices without affecting the layout complexity of the chip, while maintaining a reasonably high readout speed. The solutions might be applied to devices for applications not only in physics but also to general-purpose pixel detectors whenever online fast data sparsification is required. The paper presents also simulations on the efficiencies of the systems as proof of concept for the proposed ideas.