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World’s fastest InGaAs camera

New 800 Hz version

The Cheetah-640-CL camera is the fastest InGaAs infrared camera in the world. The camera has been designed for applications where high speed imaging matters. Whether for adaptive optics, spectral analysis in the SWIR band, tracking of fast and hot objects, electro-coalescence, etc.

This unit is equipped with a dedicated high speed InGaAs detector array working up to 1.7 μm and comes in three speed versions: 444, 865 and 1730 Hz. It allows you to visualize the ultra high speed features of your specific research application.

The TE1-cooling reduces dark current and improves signal to noise ratios for contrast-rich and stable imaging performance.

The camera head interfaces to your frame grabbing system via CameraLink (base, full or dual medium – depending on the version).

The Cheetah-640-CL is delivered with a software development kit which offers direct access to various camera settings and allows easy integration with your own high speed image grabbing system.

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Benefits & features

  • Crisp motion analysis
    High frame rates and short exposures
  • World’s fastest InGaAs camera
    > 1700 fps at 640x512 resolution and 12 bit per pixel
  • Spectrograph compatible
    These cameras have mounting holes for spectrographs, making them suitable for (hyper)spectral imaging applications
  • Windowing to further increase frame rate
    A reduced window of interest will lead to a shorter frame read time and therefore high frame rates can be achieved
  • Reliable data transfer over dual CameraLink
    For high frame rate operation in 12 bit per pixel mode, the Cheetah-640-CL 1730Hz has to be connected via a dual CameraLink medium interface
  • Extending SWIR imaging to the visible
    VISNIR or visible enhanced InGaAs sensors for extended response from 500 to 1700 nm

Designed for use in

  • R&D (SWIR range)
    SWIR range is a relatively unexplored range and hence providing much research opportunities
  • Wavefront sensing
    A high-speed SWIR camera can be used in adaptive optics systems as a wavefront (or Shack-Hartmann) sensor. The camera is then used to measure a wavefront distortion. This technique is mainly used in free-space laser communication or astronomy
  • Hyperspectral imaging
    Combination of spectral imaging and 2D imaging. Our SWIR cameras are used for hyperspectral SWIR imaging
  • Situational awareness systems
    Able to detect heat signatures of intruders including human beings and vehicles. Especially useful at night
  • Thermal imaging of fast hot objects
    SWIR cameras are used for thermal imaging in the temperature range above 300 ºC
  • Oil electro-coalescence research for crude oil purification
    The behavior of small water drops falling through a viscous oil, can be investigated by using a SWIR camera. In the infrared spectrum from 900 to 1700 nm, any crude oil is nearly transparent.


Compatible with a variety of framegrabbers

Several compatible frame grabbers for CameraLink interface are available

IR camera software included

Xeneth camera control and imaging software is included


External trigger for signal synchronization

Windowing mode

Imaging in a reduced window of interest for increased frame rates

14 bit image

Digitization: The camera uses a 14 bit ADC

High speed

High frame rate imaging at more than 1700fps in full frame (640x512)

High resolution

640x512 pixel resolution

VisNIR option

Visible enhanced InGaAs available (500 - 1700 nm)

High dynamic range

High dynamic range mode available


The TE1-cooling reduces dark current and improves signal to noise ratios for contrast-rich and stable imaging performance.

Camera specifications

Array Specifications

Array Specifications Cheetah-640-CL
Array type InGaAs Focal Plan Array (FPA) ROIC with CTIA topology
Resolution 640 x 512
Pixel size 20 µm x 20 µm
Spectral band 0.9 μm to 1.7 μm (VisNIR optional 0.4 to 1.7 μm)
Peak Quantum Efficiency (QE) 80%
Pixel operability > 99 %
Array size 12.8 mm x 10.2 mm; 16.4 mm diagonal
Array cooling TE1-cooled (Optional: TE3)
ROIC noise High gain: 60 e-; low gain: 400 e-
Dark current 0.19 x 10⁶ e-/s/pixel or 30 fA @ 200 mV bias at 288 K
Full well capacity High gain: 80 x 10x3 e-; low gain: 1.1 x 10x6 e-
Gain High gain: 20 μV/e-
Gain Low gain: 1.6 μV/e-

Camera Specifications

Camera Specifications Cheetah-640-CL 400 Hz Cheetah-640-CL 800 Hz Cheetah-640-CL 1730 Hz
Lens (standard)
Focal length Broad selection of lenses available
Optical interface C-mount - Spectrometer holes
Imaging performance
Maximum frame rate (full frame) 444 Hz 865 Hz 1730 Hz
Integration type Snapshot
Readout mode Integrate Then Read (ITR)
Readout mode Integrate While Read (IWR)
Window of interest Minimum size 32 x 4
Exposure time range 1 μs up to 40 ms @ 25°C sensor temperature (high gain mode); or up to 100 ms @ 268K sensor temperature (high gain mode)
Gain modes High gain and low gain
On-board image processing Single Non-Uniformity correction (NUC) can be uploaded
ADC 14 bit
Camera control CameraLink (serial LVDS line on CameraLink port 1)
Image acquisition Base CameraLink (12 bit) Medium CL (12 bit) Full CameraLink (8 bit), 2 x medium CameraLink (12 bit)
Trigger Trigger in and out (3.3 V CMOS)
Power requirements
Power consumption < 4 W without TEC operation; Max. 25 W with TE-cooling
Power supply 12 V
Physical characteristics
Camera cooling Forced air cooling
Ambient operating temperature range 0°C to 50°C
Dimensions (W x H x L mmᵌ) 140 x 135 x 90
Weight camera head 2 kg

Broad range of accessories available

Lens & filter options


  • Xeneth
  • Xeneth SDK
  • Xeneth Labview SDK (optional)


  • "Xenics sets the standard again in high speed SWIR imaging"


Application notes
High speed SWIR imaging with the world's fastest SWIR camera The Cheetah-640CL is the fastest SWIR camera in the world.
Electroluminescense analysis using SWIR cameras speeds up the development of solar cells Electroluminescence analysis accelerates thin-film solar cell development
SWIR cameras for timely defect detection ensure higher yields in solar cell production. SWIR cameras for timely defect detection ensure higher yields.
SWIR cameras can see through crude oil The behaviour of small water drops falling through a viscous oil, can be investigated by using a SWIR camera. In the infrared spectrum from 900 to 1700 nm, any crude oil is nearly transparent. Why should one be interested in looking at water drops in oil?
Press Releases
Xenics Cheetah-640CL: World's fastest InGaAs camera now with double CameraLink The world's fastest SWIR InGaAs camera, our Cheetah-640CL, is now available with double CameraLink interface. This allows the needed fast data transfer (2008)
Xenics sets the standard again in high speed SWIR imaging The world's fastest SWIR camera Cheetah-640-CL has been extended with a leading high-speed 800 Hz version
Short-wave infrared adaptive optics and applications In this article, we have discuss the basic working principle of AO in astronomy, microscopy, retinal imaging and laser communication application.
Laser beam profiling and infrared cameras In this white paper, we will address the general need for laser beam profile analysis. Further, we will briefly describe laser beam analysis instruments and give an overview of laser applications, in particular for infrared wavelengths.
Technical documents
ASY-000128D Cheetah CL This file contains all the technical documents for the Cheetah CL.


Scientific brochure Cheetah-640-CL

Extreme compact size and low weight

Given the extremely compact size and low weight of the Xenics XS-1.7-320 SWIR camera it was extremely easy to integrate it into our existing optical setup.

University of Strathclyde