Press release

Sofradir unveils its Daphnis line of 10μm pitch infrared detectors

Sofradir has announced that it intends to launch its new Daphnis range of 10μm pitch infrared detectors at the SPIE’s Defense, Security & Sensing show in Baltimore MD, May 6-8. The new products are the world’s first production of small pixel pitch technology for cooled MW imaging. These new products are ideal for electro-optical system developers who build military systems that are land-based, airborne or naval.
10 microns pixel pitch technology has been jointly developed by Sofradir and CEA/LETI, opening the door to the next generation of infrared detectors with better performances in smaller size.
Sofradir, leader in infrared sensors market, is at the cutting edge of innovation by offering 10 microns products. Taking benefits of many years of research and development, this technology, based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT), has been optimised to develop the most suitable products in accordance to the market’s needs.

The new Daphnis detectors deliver higher performance imaging for two distinct circumstances. For those that wish to retrofit existing VGA 15μm electro-optical systems, the Daphnis-XGA MW detector provides over twice the number of pixels for the same optical system resulting in significant improvements in detection range and DRI. For those users developing new electro-optical systems, the Daphnis-HD MW detector delivers more pixels in a format compatible with state-of-the-art 16:9 displays. As a result, Sofradir is able to meet the needs of users better with enhanced resolution due to a larger number of smaller pixels without any increase in size.


Key features of Daphnis 10μm pitch IR Detectors:

  1. 10 μm pixel pitch technology in XGA and HD formats provides superior image resolution increasing the range capability of military thermal imaging equipment with no increase in the overall size.
  2. Larger array formats permit electro-optical designs that have an enhanced field of view - wider by a factor of about 1.5 – a significant improvement over previous generation products.
  3. Sofradir technology based on HgCdTe (mercury cadmium telluride) allows the focal plane to be configured at high operating temperatures resulting in very high levels of reliability and lower power.


The Daphnis-HD MW

As with commercial systems, military display systems are following the same trend towards 16:9 aspect ratio. In order to better accommodate this new format, Sofradir’s Daphnis-HD’s 1280x720 format is designed specifically to meet the needs of the new 16:9 display formats. Philippe Bensussan, Chairman and CEO of Sofradir, comments: "With Daphnis-HD, Sofradir consolidates its position as the world's leader in the infrared technology sector, offering the first 16:9 detector with a pixel pitch of 10 μm, in a very compact size, allowing higher resolution viewing of a vastly expanded area and distance with a wider field of vision. This unique innovative product, the only one integrating this format and pixel pitch, is available now for use in standard military applications".


The Daphnis-XGA MW

The Daphnis-XGA detector (1024x768 pixels) represents a truly innovative technological advance compared with the existing VGA generation (640 x 512 pixels with a pixel pitch of 15 microns) as it enhances higher resolution in providing more pixels and higher performance without any increase in array/system size.

Consequently, when a land-based or airborne system needs to be modernized and enhanced, the electro-optics systems developer will opt for the new XGA format which uses the same 4:3 aspect ratio. This reduces the costs of a technology upgrade as the retrofit is carried out only on the camera sensor without the necessity of changing the optics and system.


>The applications of Daphnis

The two new Daphnis products are designed for the same types of applications, including ground-based, land and airborne vehicles and military satellites. The Daphnis can be used in military systems designed for armoured vehicles, helicopters (navigation systems and search and rescue equipment), target acquisition, imaging pods, airborne and naval firing systems, border reconnaissance and monitoring resources.


About Sofradir

Sofradir is the world leader in the design and manufacture of high-tech infrared detectors for military, space and industrial applications. Its vast range of IR products covers the entire visible spectrum and from the near to the far infrared spectrum. Sofradir is constantly innovating in the development of cooled IR detectors using high-performance technologies based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) as well as other technologies such as indium antimonide (InSb), indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) and the quantum-well infrared photo detector (QWIP). A number of missile homing systems, airborne targeting pods, cameras for armoured vehicles, portable binoculars and other applications on land-based, naval and airborne vehicles utilise Sofradir’s combat proven products. Sofradir is uniquely positioned in Europe as the only manufacturer of IR detectors approved for applications in space.

The head office of Sofradir, founded in 1986 in France, is located at Châtenay-Malabry. Mass production is carried out at Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble. A new head office and production site is currently being built at Palaiseau in the vicinity of Paris. Sofradir owns two subsidiaries: ULIS, manufacturer of microbolometers based at Veurey-Voroize and Sofradir EC, supplier of IR modules, located in Fairfield, New Jersey, USA. Sofradir, ULIS and Sofradir EC employ about 700 people with combined turnover of $240 million in 2013.

Sofradir will present its new developments in IR from 5th to 9th May 2014 at the SPIE DSS in Baltimore, stand no. 809

Press contact:

Frédéric Aragon - - Tel. : + 33 (0)6 23 20 66 83


Technical abstracts