A silicon multi-cathode detector (SMCD) has been developed for microanalysis and x-ray mapping applications. The SMCD has a large active area (∼0.5 cm2), excellent energy resolution, and high count rate capability. The detector utilizes novel structures that have produced very low dark current, high electric field, uniform charge collection, low noise and high sensitivity to low energy x-rays. The detector's spectral response was evaluated using a 55Fe radioisotope source, as well as by fluorescing materials with an x-ray generator. Figure 1 shows a 55Fe spectrum with an energy resolution of 125 eV FWHM at 5.9 keV collected at 12 μs peaking time. This energy resolution has been repeatably measured on many different detectors. To evaluate the high count rate x-ray performance, which is very important for fast x-ray mapping, a Cu sample was fluoresced using a Rh-anode x-ray tube.