Samsung unveils flat-panel X-ray detector

Samsung unveils flat-panel X-ray detector

Imaging sensor converts invisible X-ray images into digital signals

Samsung has announced the development of a flat-panel X-ray detector for radiology machines.

The work was conducted in collaboration with Korean medical machinery manufacturing firm Vatech.

Samsung said that it has enhanced the diagnostic process by combining digital imaging with thin-film transistor technology.

In addition to delivering a much more precise image, the new flat-panel X-Ray imaging sensor can save medical labs considerable time and money because no film or development process is needed.

An X-ray detector is an elaborate imaging sensor that converts invisible X-ray images into digital signals, which are then instantly transformed into pictures.

The medical profession currently relies primarily on expensive, plastic-based analogue film for X-ray photography, which can take a long time to develop in many medical situations.

Samsung executive vice president Yoon Jin-hyuk, chief of the Mobile LCD Division at Samsung Electronics LCD, said: "The analogue film camera market almost completely switched over to digital cameras within a decade.

"The X-ray detector market should move even faster and become completely digitised within a few years."

The flat-panel X-ray measures 45cm x 46cm and boasts a 3,072 x 3,072 (9.4-megapixel) resolution providing ultra-high definition images.

To create its flat-panel X-ray, Samsung attached photodiodes to a TFT substrate produced using its proprietary amorphous silicon technology.

The X-rays are detected photon by photon and converted into visible light, which in turn is converted to electrical signals that can be displayed as diagnostic images on a flat panel screen.

In addition, Samsung has created an image enhancement function to eliminate most digital image noise interference to provide the highest radiographic sensitivity in the industry.

The device will be available worldwide from the first quarter of 2008.