New medical sensor for endoscope and catheter cameras

1 min read

OmniVision Technologies, a developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, has unveiled the OH0TA OVMed medical image sensor - with a package size of just 0.55mm x 0.55mm, and featuring a 1.0 micron pixel and a 1/31” optical format.

The OH0TA quadruples the RGB image resolution to 400x400, or 160 K Pixels, at 30 frames per second, while reducing the power consumption by 20% to 20mW. 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 1-2mm.

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 device's increased resolution allows higher quality colour 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 tradition."

The increased resolution, along with the smaller pixel size and optical format, is a result of the OH0TA being built on OmniVision’s PureCel Plus-S stacked die technology. This next-generation pixel technology also provides higher colour fidelity and excellent low light sensitivity of 3600 mV/lux-sec, along with a high signal-to-noise ratio of 37.5dB 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 analogue-to-digital-conversion bridge chip. Additionally, it is autoclavable for reusable endoscope sterilization.