How a CT works

A CT scanner is one of the most powerful diagnostic tools available to medical practitioners. A CT scan produces 3D images of organs such as the head, heart or lungs, and with a high contrast ratio between bone, tissue, blood vessels and other parts of the body.

So how does a CT scanner work? This simple description of the operation of a CT scanner explains how the machine captures multiple image ‘slices’ by detecting X-ray pulses passing through the patient’s body, and then compiles the slices in software to render an image that the physician can view and analyze.

It also shows how critical components such as the readout IC affect the resolution and quality of the image and the radiation dosage to which the patient is exposed.

How a computed tomography works

The different parts of a CT detector

CT scanners are commonly used today in the diagnostic examination of the head/neck, chest, CT angiography, abdomen and pelvis.

A key component of a modern multi-slice CT scanner is the detector array: this senses the X-ray radiation which is partially attenuated by tissues in the patient’s body, and converts them into a digital signal.

The design of the detector array affects its operating characteristics, such as sensitivity, noise, resolution and speed. An understanding of the operation of the detector array supports an appreciation of the role and specifications of key components including the readout IC.

Different parts of CT detector

ams CT sensor solutions

A fundamental component of a modern multi-slice CT scanner is the detector array which senses the X-ray radiation and converts it into a digital signal. This digital signal contains all the information required by the image signal processor to render a 3D image of the patient’s organs and tissues.

ams takes its leading imaging sensing expertise forward to achieve an unprecedented level of image quality at lower doses, offering a range of high performance solutions addressing both three-side and four-side buttable options, exhibiting low noise, ultra-low power and high readout speeds.

Such solutions range from stand-alone analog-to-digital converters allowing maximum flexibility for our customers, to highly integrated ICs combining both photodiode arrays and readout circuits in a single silicon package, driving ultimate performance.