OmniVision and Almalence add SuperResolution to world’s smallest camera module for endoscopic medical imaging

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OmniVision and Almalence add SuperResolution to world’s smallest camera module for endoscopic medical imaging

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | November 16, 2020 Endoscopy
SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OmniVision Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, and Almalence Inc., one of the world’s leaders in computational imaging, today announced at CompaMed a joint solution that eliminates the conflict between camera size and resolution found in current medical imaging solutions. This is accomplished by dramatically increasing the resolution of images captured from the smallest parts of the anatomy during endoscopic and catheter procedures across all disciplines, such as neurology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, cardiology, orthopedology, gynecology and urology. The solution is based on OmniVision’s OVM6948 CameraCubeChip™—the world’s smallest fully packaged, wafer-level camera module measuring 0.65mm x 0.65mm, with a z-height of just 1.158mm. Working in partnership with OmniVision, Almalence pre-tuned its SuperResolution algorithm, which is currently the de-facto standard for smartphone cameras, effectively increasing the OVM6948’s backside-illuminated resolution by 1.5x to 300x300 and boosting its signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) by up to 8dB for a total of about 42dB. These increases would otherwise double the image sensor and camera size, due to the required increase in pixel count.

“We have expanded our longstanding partnership with OmniVision in mobile imaging to bring our industry-leading algorithm to medical designers, enabling them to create small-diameter endoscopes with greater detail and better image quality than the image sensor would otherwise be capable of producing.”

The market research and strategy consulting company Yole Développement is expecting a 27% CAGR (1) between 2019 and 2025 (2), reaching US$241 million at the end of that period, for CIS camera modules for disposable endoscopes. “This market is being pushed by the addition of video and the shift toward small-diameter applications needing higher image resolutions. Additionally, medical trends are favoring single-use devices, including cross-contamination issues and strong regulations stemming from endoscope disinfection matters,” stated Jérôme Mouly, team lead analyst for sensing at Yole. “The ramp up is starting this year and will continue in the coming years as regulators enforce the use of disposable endoscopes for certain procedures, such as bronchoscopy, laryngoscopy and urology.”

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The OVM6948 camera module integrates OmniVision’s OV6948 image sensor, which holds the Guinness World Record for “The Smallest Image Sensor Commercially Available” with its size of 0.575mm x 0.575mm. Because OmniVision’s unique CameraCubeChip optics are fabricated at the wafer level, they can be bonded to this image sensor to form a camera module that is 1.158mm high. This enables integration into an endoscope or catheter with a diameter of less than 2.0mm, thus allowing it to either reach deeper into the human anatomy or offer a larger array of endoscopic tools within its working channel.

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