How is the digital X-ray imaging industry evolving

In 2022, Yole Intelligence predicted that the X-ray detector market would grow from $2,079 million in 2022 to $2,493 million in 2028. Recent news from the industry confirms some key trends that we identified in our latest Digital X-ray Imaging 2022 report.

Among these trends, the industry is embracing IGZO technology for large format flat panel detectors, offering a promising cost-performance compromise compared to other existing technologies. While historical amorphous silicon technology boasts affordability, it falls short in terms of performance. On the other hand, more recent CMOS technology exhibits high performance but remains too expensive for mass market expansion. Notably, Teledyne Dalsa, a leading player in CMOS flat panels, recently introduced its first IGZO-based product.

“Axios IGZO detectors exceed industry benchmarks in current TFT-based detector technologies by providing artifact-free images at higher speeds and higher DQE at low dose operation,” said Mila Heeman, Business Line Manager for Teledyne Healthcare X-Ray Solutions. “The Axios detectors produce high-performance 2D and 3D imaging at a considerably lower cost than the premium CMOS technology detectors. Next to our unwavering commitment to remain the leader of CMOS active pixel technology for demanding X-ray applications, we are happy to offer this choice more affordable, high-performance X-ray imaging to our industry partners, bearing the Teledyne stamp of excellence in product quality and customer support.”

Another exciting innovation in X-ray imaging is Photon-Counting Computed Tomography, which is poised to penetrate the high-end segment of the market in the near future. Leveraging direct conversion of X-ray photons into charges thanks to the dedicated semiconductor material, this technology promises higher resolution and sensitivity as well as lower dose compared to mainstream detectors.

Over the past decade, Siemens Healthineers has made substantial investments in this groundbreaking technology, leading the way by introducing the first commercial scanner in 2021. It recently invested an additional €80 million in its new factory in Forchheim, Germany, to increase detector production.

“We are the first with a fully clinically approved photon-counting system. The technology was instantly accepted by the market and our customers – the systems are straightforward CT installations with full clinical performance from day one. For us, it’s the clear path into the future of computed tomography: In the mid-long term, every CT we ship will be photon-counting based. We have a very robust in-house cadmium-telluride manufacturing process, meeting our current demand and are in the process of expanding our manufacturing capabilities to meet expected future demand,” says Dr. André Henning, Head of Research and Development at Siemens Healthineers’ CT Detector Center.

The competition is not far behind in embracing photon-counting adoption. For instance, Canon, after acquiring Redlen Technologies in 2021, a company specializing in Cadmium Zinc Telluride photodetectors, recently installed its first photon-counting scanner in Japan for clinical research.

The X-ray detector market is experiencing an exciting evolution, driven by cutting-edge advancements such as IGZO flat panels and Photon-Counting Computed Tomography. As these innovations gain traction, the industry is set to witness a profound transformation, revolutionizing the landscape of X-ray imaging and diagnostic capabilities.


IGZO: Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide

TFT: Thin-Film Transistor

DQE: Detective Quantum Efficiency

CT: Computed Tomography

About the authors

Axel Clouet, Ph.D., is a Technology & Market Analyst, Imaging and Display at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group, within the Photonics and Sensing division, in the Imaging Team. He contributes daily to technology & market analyses on various imaging technologies and participates in the production of the relevant reports. Previously, Axel obtained an MSc from Grenoble Institute of Technology (FR) and a Ph.D. from the University of Grenoble (FR) in collaboration with CEA-LETI, where he worked on color and noise aspects in CMOS image sensors. He is the author of various scientific papers and conference presentations.