Scan of agricultural fields with a hyperspectral camera, fields have different colours
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Hyperspectral imaging

See more than the visible... and enable breakthrough discoveries in precision agriculture, medical, industrial machine vision, security surveillance and much more!

Click to visit imec's website on hyperspectral imaging

image courtesy of GAMAYA

Human eyesight is, of course, a miracle. Nevertheless, it’s mostly limited to three bands of the electromagnetic spectrum: red, green and blue. It cannot register fine details within these bands – let alone what’s outside the visible continuum, such as infrared.

Hyperspectral imaging is a technique to extract more spectral information from an image. It reveals more bands and extends beyond the visible spectrum.

Hyperspectral information is of great value for our understanding of the world. Most materials have a unique ‘spectral signature’ – even if they look the same to human eyes. This ability to see ‘true colors’ has revolutionary potential for a range of applications such as precision agriculture, earth observation, art analysis and medicine.

Read our 2023 press releases on breakthroughs in hyperspectral imaging technology

Imec hyperspectral camera paves the way for in-vivo detection of low-grade gliomas

Imec demonstrates combined VIS & NIR spectral camera system, complemented with hi-res RGB imaging

Download our white paper

How spectral imaging can advance surgical vision

Imec's hyperspectral imaging technology

Imec leverages its background in semiconductor fab, equipment and process technology. And uses it to design and manufacture interference-based optical filters at wafer level. They're deposited and patterned directly on top of image sensor pixels.

This unique CMOS-based infrastructure provides very compact, clean and high-yield optical filter integration with scalability to high-volume and low cost.

Click to watch an introduction to our hyperspectral technology by an imec expert.

Applications of hyperspectral imaging

With the advent of more compact hyperspectral cameras and real-time hyperspectral imaging, a set of new applications comes to light. Some examples:

  • agriculture – Often mounted on drones, light-weight hyperspectral cameras can detect the smallest differences in plants or soils and inform farmers and researchers about diseases, droughts, and so on. Learn more
  • machine vision – Automated industrial processes such as classification, error detection and sorting benefit from a technology that can clearly and quickly distinguish superficially identical entities. Learn more
  • medicine – Thanks to real-time hyperspectral imaging, it’s now possible to use hyperspectral imaging to inspect living tissue, for instance in diagnostic tools or during surgery. Learn more
  • art and heritage – Historical artifacts have many stories to tell. The challenge is to uncover their secrets without touching, and sometimes even moving them. That’s where portable, high-resolution hyperspectral cameras come in. Learn more
  • remote sensing – More and more observational satellites leave for space with a hyperspectral sensor on board. It enables them to make out the spectral signatures of soil, vegetation, minerals, ... Learn more
  • forensics – Hyperspectral imaging’s ability to detect spectral fingerprints includes those of materials such as blood or gun powder. It identifies such markers at a crime scene without using chemicals that could tamper with the evidence. Learn more

Hyperspectral sensors

Several types of imec’s hyperspectral sensors – all based on our CMOSIS CMV2000 image sensor – are available off the shelf. You can order them in quantities from one to more than a thousand.

Contact us for more information

Do you want a hyperspectral sensor that’s tuned to your application – faster, focusing on specific bands, with a higher image resolution, ...? Then we develop one for you, taking care of the whole process from design to manufacturing.

Read more about our custom development


Are you unsure about the type of hyperspectral sensor you need? Test it with one of our camera evaluation kits. Broadly, can choose between:

  • High-resolution hyperspectral cameras, which are compact, register more than 150 spectral bands through a simple point-and-click and result in images that can be immediately analyzed with the included HSI snapscan software. Go to the overview
  • Real-time hyperspectral cameras, that can capture videos – essential for situations where motions are unavoidable and unpredictable such as in surveillance, medical imaging and remote sensing. Go to the overview

See all cameras


All camera demo-kits come with HSI STUDIO™. That's the most advanced hyperspectral imaging software, developed by imec's integrated imaging & vision system team. It ensures the highest quality hyperspectral imaging datacubes reconstruction. Custom configurations of hardware and software packages are possible and can be discussed.

Example of imec's hyperspectral software. A picture of 3 brown rocks being analysed on a screen, on the right side of the rocks you can find statistics.


For customers and partners of imec hyperspectral imaging activity, please contact us through this email or visit our support portal (restricted access) to download the latest support documents and materials including:

  • Software
  • Manuals
  • Reports
  • Examples
  • Personal files


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