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OH0TA OmniVision Quadruples Resolution and Reduces Size of World’s Smallest Commercial Image Sensor

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

New Medical Sensor for Endoscope and Catheter Cameras Improves Image Quality and Reduces Power Consumption to Help Surgeons See Better and Go Deeper Into Smallest Parts of Anatomy.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — March 9, 2021 — OmniVision Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, today announced its new OH0TA OVMed® medical image sensor—with a package size of just 0.55 mm x 0.55 mm, featuring a 1.0 micron pixel and a 1/31” optical format—smaller than the Guinness World Record held by its predecessor for the “Smallest Commercially Available Image Sensor.” The OH0TA also quadruples the RGB image resolution to 400 x 400, or 160 Kpixels, at 30 frames per second, while reducing the power consumption by 20% to 20 mW. This allows designers to add ultra-compact visualization to single-use and reusable endoscopes, as well as catheters and guidewires, with a small outer diameter of 1-2 mm. Alternatively, this sensor’s uniquely small size gives medical device OEMs the flexibility to create a larger-diameter scope with a larger working channel.

The OH0TA’s increased resolution allows higher quality color images to be captured from within the body’s smallest organs, enabling medical devices to reach deeper into the body for procedures such as neuro, ophthalmic, ENT, cardiac, spinal, urology, gynecology and arthroscopy, as well as dental and veterinary diagnosis and surgery. Additionally, the sensor’s lower power consumption reduces “chip on tip” camera heat for greater patient comfort and longer procedure durations, while also reducing noise for crisper images.

“The trend toward minimally invasive procedures continues to grow, due to their greater success rates and shorter patient recovery times. However, for the narrowest areas of the anatomy, particularly in neuro and cardiac surgeries, previous sensors did not have the necessary combination of high resolution and extremely small size,” said Ehsan Ayar, medical product marketing manager at OmniVision. “The OH0TA is the world’s first sensor to offer this combination, enabling significant endoscope improvements, especially in comparison to traditional videoscopes made with optical fibers, which have limited resolution, poor imager quality and high cost.”

The market research and strategy consulting company Yole Développement (Yole) is expecting a 10.4% CAGR from 2020 to 2025, for the CMOS image sensor (CIS) industry. “Advanced node technology in CISs is bringing higher resolution, and innovative stack processes help to optimize the performance as well as the module size,” commented Chenmeijing Liang, technology and market analyst, imaging at Yole. “These state-of-the-art CIS technologies are meeting today’s key endoscopy requirements to support doctors in their diagnostic processes or surgical procedures with higher image quality and better contrast, while increasing patient comfort. They also allow less invasive imaging techniques for neurologic, ENT or pediatric applications without altering image resolution.” (1)

To achieve this increase in resolution, along with a smaller pixel size and optical format, the OH0TA is built on OmniVision’s PureCel®Plus-S stacked die technology. This next-generation pixel technology also provides higher color fidelity and excellent low light sensitivity of 3600 mV/lux-sec, along with a high signal-to-noise ratio of 37.5 dB for crisper images. Additionally, PureCel®Plus-S enables the OH0TA’s higher full well capacity (FWC), zero blooming and lower power consumption.

Other key features include a 15.5 degree chief ray angle, enabling the use of lenses with high fields of view and short focus distances. It also supports a 4-wire interface, as well as raw analog data output, both of which can transmit via cables as long as 4 meters with minimal signal noise. For backward compatibility and easy adoption, this sensor interfaces with OmniVision’s existing OV426 analog-to-digital-conversion bridge chip. Additionally, it is autoclavable for reusable endoscope sterilization.

Samples of the OH0TA are available now, in OmniVision’s hCSP chip scale package with 100 micron thick cover glass and an anti-reflective coating.

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