DROICs are an evolution of conventional Read-Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC) chips that enable higher-quality data collection and faster and lower-power image processing.
Are DROICs better than ROICs?
The Read-Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC) is a core element of cameras, positioned behind the optics and the photodetectors. It processes electrical currents from the photodetectors and reads out a signal value from each pixel in the array to the next layer of electronics, where the conversion to digital is completed and image frames are sent to the external electronics (a computer, for example) for further processing. While that collection and digitization process does occur quickly, it is slower, less precise, and produces lower quality data – including images – than is possible with a DROIC chip.
A DROIC takes signal processing within each pixel a step further, fully converting photodetector currents to a digital value. This increases image quality by enabling higher dynamic range – the ability to see faint pixels in the presence of very bright pixels – and additional signal processing in the array that reduces system power requirements and latency. The result is better, more detailed images for decision-makers with no delay.
How are DROICs used?
When using DROICs, decision-makers receive more and better relevant intelligence almost immediately. This is vital to members of the military, giving both Command and Control (C2) and deployed troops the eyes they need via Electro-Optical and Infrared (EO/IR) sensors in order to make smarter decisions more quickly. DROICs are also being implemented into new intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) devices, advanced new sensor-to-shooter (STS) devices, and are expected to be integrated into numerous future security, industrial, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
The increased speed and quality that DROICs provide are similar to the qualities required of a technology partner developing them – high quality results produced rapidly based on proven science and innovative engineering. This is true now more than ever in today’s defense electronics sector.
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