Press release

Success story: Sofradir Snake SW TECless detector selected by First Light Imaging

Sofradir, a leading global supplier of key classes of advanced infrared (IR) detectors for defense, space, scientific, and industrial applications, announced today that First Light Imaging will build its C-RED 3 camera using Sofradir’s Snake SW TECless sensor. The contract comes less than a year after Sofradir unveiled the sensor at Photonics West 2018.


First Light Imaging develops advanced imaging equipment for extremely low-light environments and real-time solutions for scientific and industrial research and development. Since 2011, First Light Imaging has equipped some of the world’s largest observatories and research institutes. The company constantly innovates to offer its customers the most advanced imaging solutions on the market.
First Light Imaging and Sofradir have been working together for three years, a partnership that led to the development of two cameras integrating the Snake detector: C-RED 3 and C-RED 2. C-RED 2 is built on the TEC version of the sensor and delivers a record frame rate of 600 FPS full-frame, noise of less than 30 electrons, and dark current under 600 e/pixel/second. This outstanding performance coupled with the Snake detector’s high image quality and resolution represent a substantial competitive advantage.

Based on brisk sales of the C-RED 2, First Light Imaging decided to integrate Sofradir’s Snake SW TECless detector into its C-RED 3. C-RED 3 is a high-speed, compact, and versatile camera, perfect for short exposure applications. C-RED 3 also runs at 600 FPS full-frame with less than 50 e RON, creating unprecedented possibilities in a wide range of applications, from manufacturing, life sciences, and surveillance to lasers and free space optics.
“At First Light Imaging, we strive to create innovative products with the highest potential,” said First Light Imaging CEO David Boutolleau. “We believe that Sofradir is the ideal partner for developing new solutions built on infrared sensors.” First Light Imaging is also providing Sofradir with opportunities to gain valuable insights from the end users of its products. This will allow Sofradir to confirm the benefits of its sensors and strengthen its position on these markets.
The qualification process on the Snake SW TECless sensor has been completed and the product is now being volume-manufactured.
The C-RED 3 camera from First Light Imaging will be showcased during Photonics West 2019 and commercially available in Spring 2019.

Sofradir contacts:
Sébastien Frasse-Sombet – Product line Manager +33 644139620 –
Cécile Janvier – External Communication Manager +33 682215768 –

First Light Imaging Contacts:
David Boutolleau – CEO +33 620262038 –
Cécile Brun – Marketing Manager +33 620711451 –

Technical abstracts