Sectra Microdose is the first single photon counting mammography detector. An edge-on crystalline silicon detector is connected to application specific integrated circuits that individually process each photon. The detector is scanned across the breast and the rejection of scattered radiation exceeds 97% without the use of a Bucky. Processing of each x-rays individually enables an optimization of the information transfer from the x-rays to the image in a way previously not possible. Combined with an almost absence of noise from scattered radiation and from electronics we foresee a possibility to reduce the radiation dose and/or increase the image quality. We will discuss fundamental features of the new direct photon counting technique in terms of dose efficiency and present preliminary measurements for a prototype on physical parameters such as Noise Power Spectra (NPS), MTF and DQE.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.