Detection of low levels of light is one of the key aspects in medical and space applications. Silicon photomultiplier, a novel type of avalanche photodetector which operates in Geiger mode, shows promising results and offer superior design options. The performance characteristics of the SiPM realized in FBK-irst are studied and presented in this paper. The leakage current, dark rate and internal gain are characterized as a function of temperature. The investigation has been carried out in the framework of the DASiPM Collaboration and the INFN/FBK-irst MEMS project. © 2008 IEEE.