OmniVision releases world's smallest, 0.5mm sensor

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OmniVision Technologies has released the world’s smallest commercial image sensor.

The OV6948 sensor, measuring 0.575 x 0.575mm, is designed for medical imagers, including reusable medical imaging equipment.

OmniVision also launched a fully packaged, wafer-level camera module, based on the 200 x 200-pixel backside-illuminated sensor. The camera measures 0.65 x 0.65mm, with a z-height of 1.158mm.

The complete OVM6948 Camera Cube Chip module can be integrated into a catheter or endoscope with a diameter as small as 1.0mm.

‘Previously, procedures in the body’s smallest anatomy were performed either blind or using low quality images from fiberscopes, as existing cameras were too big and reusable endoscopes were not cost effective,’ said Aaron Chiang, marketing director at OmniVision. ‘The OVM6948 wafer-level camera module offers a compact, high quality solution for disposable guidewires, catheters and endoscopes.’

The OVM6948 is the only ultra-small chip-on-tip camera with backside illumination, according to OmniVision. The sensor provides excellent image quality and better low-light performance to help reduce LED heat, along with improved sensitivity. It also allows for the use of superior lens technology over competing front-side illumination cameras in this class.

Other key features of this camera module include a 120-degree field of view and a focus range of 3mm to 30mm. Its image array is capable of capturing 200 x 200-pixel resolution images and video at up to 30fps, and its analogue output that can transmit over 4 metres with minimal noise.

The camera also offers low power consumption of 25mW, generating less heat for better patient comfort and flexible procedure durations.

The first colour image, captured by a CMV20000 sensor, to be sent back by the hazard cameras on the Perseverance rover after its landing on Mars on 18 February. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

26 February 2021