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We describe a nitrogen‐cooled array detector system based on the Thomson TH 7832A charge‐coupled photodiode. Performance comparisons are made between this system and others based on two‐dimensional CCDs. The TH 7832A compares favorably in resolution, spectral range, and readout speed. Analysis of read and shot noise contributions identifies classes of experiments for which the larger read noise of the TH 7832A is inconsequential.