- Abbreviation of charge-coupled device. A semiconductor device with a matrix of many minute photosensitive elements which convert optical images into electric charges. Each sensing element, which corresponds to an image pixel, generates a charge which varies proportionally to the intensity of the light received. These charges are then passed on individually and in rows, so as to form a continuous analog signal. analog to digital converters convert this analog input into a digital output, and the obtained information can be stored or otherwise processed. Used for machine vision, computer memory, digital and TV cameras, and in telescopes which are able to detect single photons of light.
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