HgCdTe focal plane array cost modeling
Sanders, Thomas J.
Hess, Glenn T.
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Focal plane arrays (FPAs) are used in many applications for detecting infrared (IR) radiation where normal sight with light in the visible spectrum is not possible. To effectively detect this IR radiation, complex semiconductor diodes, cooled to low temperatures, are usually used. The most common of these semiconductor materials is the II-VI alloy semiconductor system using HgCdTe, which is often called MCT. Focal plane arrays with over 1000 pixels have been fabricated. The cost of these very complex systems is becoming a very important consideration in decisions of where to use these FPAs. The focal plane array actually consists of two semiconductor parts with a sophisticated cooling assembly. The semiconductor parts are the MCT detector device itself and a companion device called the read-out circuit. The cost model presented in this paper consists of various expressions as functions of physical parameters that can be measured, calculated from data or estimated. Although accurate absolute cost data may not be available (because it does not exist or is proprietary to a company), cost estimates can be effectively used to determine relative cost between two designs or processes. In addition, when these cost models are coupled with the STADIUM design of experiments simulation methodology, accurate predictions of the most dominant cost drivers can be obtained. This cost model and its algorithms are coupled with a commercial software program called IR-SIM.