Profiles and surfaces can be measured ultra-fast with high-resolution and high speed optical sensor systems.

Imaging at high speeds is of great importance in many areas of industry. Whether the image sensor is moving past the object or the object is moving past the image sensor, the respective demands on the performance of the sensor system used are enormous and often cannot be met by ordinary architectures and image sensors.

The inspection of products of a serial production, for example, requires an optical sensor that can record the surface at the speed of the production equipment (e.g. assembly line) with a sufficiently high resolution to detect possible defects or production errors.

One application where IMS High-Speed-Imaging is used is the scanning of bank notes during printing process for quality control.

Another application is the inspection of roads or rails while driving by. Laser triangulation on the vehicle can do this, where the high-speed performance of the sensor must cover at least the driving speed.

These requirements for the high-speed sensor necessitate special concepts for various elements of the system:

  • The photosensitive element (diode, SPAD, ...) should guarantee high dynamic range and fast detection.
  • The circuit should be driven by high clock frequencies to allow fast readout.
  • The data should be processed efficiently and as parallel as possible.
  • The interface should allow high data rates.



Fraunhofer IMS has access to several high-performance sensor elements in its in-house CMOS technology, such as the Single-Photon Avalanche Diode, CCD, Lateral Drift Photodiode (LDPD) and others, each of which has good characteristics for use in high-speed applications. In addition, Fraunhofer IMS looks back on many years of experience in circuit design for a wide variety of applications and fields of use, some of which require high-speed performance and high clock rates. With additional competence on the system level, an optimal basis for the development and production of high-speed image sensors exists.


For more information about Fraunhofer IMS activities in high-speed imaging, please refer to the following info sheets.

CSPAD αlpha

3D-integrated BSI SPAD sensor with in-pixel TDC for time- and spatially-resolved single photon detection

Wide-angle LiDAR

Prototype LiDAR system with MEMS scanner and 180° horizontal FoV


LiDAR camera as platform for evaluation and demonstration of 3D sensors


QVGA ToF sensor for a compact and cost-effective underwater camera

Info Sheet

Our technologies - Innovations for your products


High-performance image sensors with high time resolution provide an optimal basis for reliable distance determinations

Low Light Detection

Highly sensitive image sensors can detect single photons with spatial and temporal resolution without loss of information

Our technology areas - Our technologies for your development

Integrated Sensor Systems

Covers all electronic components for sensor signal conditioning and readout.

Optical Systems

Comprises 3D-Sensors, High-Speed-Imaging, detection of extreme low light as well as scientific imaging.

Wireless and Transponder Systems

Incorporates the wireless acquisition of sensor and ID-data even in passive systems.


Smart Sensor Systems

Here you can get back to the overview page of the core competence Smart Sensor Systems (SSS).