Medical RGB-IR Image Sensor That Helps Reduce The Endoscope Size

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Provides improved image quality and IR sensitivity, with no need of separate RGB and IR sensors for cancer diagnosis and treatment

While endoscopic precancer and cancer detection procedures are performed using IR light, surgeons also need RGB light to confirm any abnormalities detected using infrared. Previously, this could only be accomplished by integrating two independent imager sensors, which resulted in endoscopes with a larger size, higher cost and higher power consumption, thereby excessively heating the tip of the endoscope.

Presenting the image sensor OH02A1S, which provides simultaneous white-light RGB acquisition and infrared monochrome captures in a single CMOS sensor. Designers of chip-on-tip endoscopes for cancer detection can now eliminate a second image sensor, thereby overcoming the drawbacks of a two imager design. These improvements allow the development of small outer diameter (OD) endoscopes for cancer detection and diagnosis procedures.

Since both IR and RGB images can now be captured using a single chip, surgeons will be able to switch between high-quality RGB and IR in real-time or display both images simultaneously on one (overlay) or two (side-by-side) monitors. Additionally, the smaller size and reduced heat allow the endoscope to reach much farther into the body than was previously possible with larger-OD, two-imager designs. The provision for extra space also allows designers to add more or larger illumination (fibre or LED), or a larger working channel for endoscopic tools.

The OH02A1S features 1.4-micron PureCel pixel architecture with 4×4 binning a high image quality. This architecture offers high quantum efficiency for excellent low-light performance and a high dynamic range for clarity in contrasting bright and dark scenes. The sensor can provide 1080p (1920×1080) resolution at 60 frames per second (fps) or 720p (1280×720) at 90 fps, via a 2-lane MIPI serial output. The OH02A1S also integrates 2 kilobits of one-time programmable memory on-chip. It consumes just 90 milliwatts at full power, generating less heat for greater patient comfort.

“Until now, the need for two image sensors made the size and heat of endoscopes excessive for many areas of the body. Additionally, the added cost was too high for disposable scopes,” said Tehzeeb Gunja, director of medical marketing at OmniVision. “The OH02A1S significantly expands the number and reach of endoscopic procedures that can be performed, while reducing design complexity and making RGB-IR sensing affordable in disposable endoscopes.”

OmniVision’s OH02A1S image sensor is available today in a 1/6-inch optical format and a compact 3.8 x 2.9 mm chip-scale package.


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