A new image sensor aims to make a difference in endoscopy

OmniVision, already known for its small medical grade image sensors for endoscopes, has now launched an even smaller sensor, the new OH0TA OVMed Medical Image Sensor. With a package size of 0.55mm x 0.55mm, smaller than the Guinness World Record for “smallest commercially available image sensor” held by its predecessor, the OV6948, which measures 0.575mm x 0.575mm, the OH0TA also features a 1.0 micron pixel. and an optical format of 1/31 in. The company has also launched the OVMed OCHTA camera module which incorporates the new OH0TA image sensor and offers four times the resolution of its predecessor, at 400×400, or 160 KPixels. This module features the company’s CameraCubeChip wafer-level technology, allowing it to match the world’s smallest size of its predecessor, at 0.65mm x 0.65mm, he reported.

Ehsan Ayar, director of medical product marketing at OmniVision, said DM+DI that the smaller sensor was developed to “enter smaller, darker areas previously not accessible or obscured by fluids”. With four times the resolution of its predecessor, Ayar explained, the sensor should “make a difference in surgical and diagnostic endoscopy applications.”

Ayar said the endoscopy market is growing at a CAGR of 30% and the “catheter segment is getting bigger. Imaging is entering more and more procedures and surgeons are relying on imaging to make diagnostic decisions. They “need realistic images to be able to decide whether to remove a tumor and where to cut”, and “they need to see tissue clearly”, he added.

He added that one of the main advantages of the new sensor is “not just that it’s small, but that it’s small with good image fidelity and low-light sensitivity. Others need to use more LEDs, which can generate heat.

The ability to capture high quality images in low light conditions comes from the sensor built on OmniVision’s PureCel Plus-S stacked chip technology. With this next-generation stacked image sensor, “The entire top layer is the pixel array, and the digital logic is moved below, which provides greater light-gathering efficiency – all photons hitting the sensor are captured for brighter images,” said said Tehzeeb Gunja, director of medical marketing for OmniVision. DM+DI. “There’s also lower color crosstalk and a more consistent black level.” And “using stacked technology, we are able to reduce power by 20%, which reduces chip camera heat for greater patient comfort and longer procedure times, while reducing noise. for sharper images.

The OH0TA OVMed Medical Image Sensor can be used with traditional glass lens systems, or it can be fused to a plastic lens as part of the OVMed OCHTA camera module, an alternative to glass lens systems. “With our CameraCubeChip technology, thousands of lenses can be cut at the same time, at the wafer level, so manufacturing scale allows for speed and automation, resulting in better cost and best time to market,” said Ayar.

Above: The OVMed OCHTA camera module. Image courtesy of OmniVision

OmniVision also offers integrated cable modules (up to 5 meters long) as a turnkey solution. In this platform, “the customer doesn’t have to interact with so many vendors,” Ayar said. “We have always received requests for cables, some customers have neither the time nor the expertise. Although offering turnkey solutions is new to us, we have always had supply chain knowledge. »

The cables are extensively tested for biocompatibility. “Our cables are highly unlikely to be used unsheathed, but we test for biocompatibility in the worst-case scenario, a [sheath] breakage, to avoid any risk to the patient,” explained Gunja.

Asked about the issue of single-use vs. reusable endoscopes, Gunja explained that reusable endoscopes with glass lenses often cost thousands of installations plus the cost of reprocessing, while single-use endoscopes with lenses plastic cost hundreds. OmniVision’s wafer-level camera module technology is “economical and breaks the shackles of expensive lenses,” he said. Single-use systems also eliminate the risk of cross-contamination, he added.

Michael C. Garrison