Andor launches iXon Ultra 888; the world’s fastest megapixel back-illuminated EMCCD
20 May 2014

Andor Technology Ltd., an Oxford Instruments company and a world leader in scientific imaging and spectroscopy solutions, today announced the launch of the iXon Ultra 888 megapixel, back-illuminated EMCCD camera, offering single photon sensitivity across a large field of view, at 26 fps. Building on a rich history of first to market innovation, the ‘supercharged’ iXon Ultra 888, represents a massive 3x performance boost for the largest available EMCCD sensor, as well as the first USB3 enabled EMCCD camera.

The iXon Ultra 888 has been fundamentally re-engineered to facilitate 3x overclocking of the pixel readout speed to an unprecedented 30 MHz, whilst maintaining quantitative stability, thrusting the full frame rate performance to video rate. Furthermore, Andor’s unique ‘Crop Mode’ can be employed to further boost frame rates from a user defined sub-region, for example pushing a 512 x 512 sub-array to 93 fps and a 128 x 128 area to 697 fps.

With a 1024 x 1024 sensor format and 13 µm pixel size, the resolving power, field of view and unparalleled speed of the iXon Ultra 888 render it the most attractive and versatile EMCCD option for demanding applications such as single molecule detection, super-resolution microscopy, live cell imaging and high time resolution astronomy. 

Additional features of the iXon Ultra 888 include high bandwidth USB3 connectivity, a lower noise CCD mode and an additional Camera Link output, offering a unique ability to directly intercept data for ‘on the fly’ processing, ideally suited to applications such as adaptive optics. Simultaneously, the iXon Ultra maintains all the advanced performance attributes and rich customer requested feature set that have defined the iXon range to date, such as deep vacuum cooling to -95°C, extremely low spurious noise and EM Gain calibration. Count Convert functionality allows real time data acquisition in units of electrons or incident photons and OptAcquire facilitates one-click optimisation of this versatile camera to a variety of application conditions.

Dr Colin Coates, Imaging Product Manager at Andor, said; "EMCCD technology excels in applications that require low light sensitivity at speed, and it remains the superior technology for dynamic, ultra-low light applications. Andor are delighted to have used our market leading EMCCD expertise to unlock the speed potential of this powerful, back-illuminated sensor. Now we have a camera that ticks the important boxes of ultra-sensitivity, speed, resolving power, field of view, and with a surprisingly ‘budget-friendly’ price. We are convinced this versatile, high value camera will quickly become the gold standard EMCCD option.  We see the enhanced frame rate performance of the iXon Ultra 888 being well utilised across the majority of EMCCD-enabled applications, for example in single molecule detection, super-resolution microscopy, astronomy, ion signalling and cell motility measurements.”

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