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27 January 2009 Minimal form factor digital-image sensor for endoscopic applications
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Proceedings Volume 7249, Sensors, Cameras, and Systems for Industrial/Scientific Applications X; 72490V (2009)
Event: IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging, 2009, San Jose, California, United States
This paper presents a digital image sensor SOC featuring a total chip area (including dicing tolerances) of 0.34mm2 for endoscopic applications. Due to this extremely small form factor the sensor enables integration in endoscopes, guide wires and locater devices of less than 1mm outer diameter. The sensor embeds a pixel matrix of 10'000 pixels with a pitch of 3um x 3um covered with RGB filters in Bayer pattern. The sensor operates fully autonomous, controlled by an on chip ring oscillator and readout state machine, which controls integration AD conversion and data transmission, thus the sensor only requires 4 pin's for power supply and data communication. The sensor provides a frame rate of 40Frames per second over a LVDS serial data link. The endoscopic application requires that the sensor must work without any local power decoupling capacitances at the end of up to 2m cabling and be able to sustain data communication over the same wire length without deteriorating image quality. This has been achieved by implementation of a current mode successive approximation ADC and current steering LVDS data transmission. An band gap circuit with -40dB PSRR at the data frequency was implemented as on chip reference to improve robustness against power supply ringing due to the high series inductance of the long cables. The B&W versions of the sensor provides a conversion gain of 30DN/nJ/cm2 at 550nm with a read noise in dark of 1.2DN when operated at 2m cable. Using the photon transfer method according to EMVA1288 standard the full well capacity was determined to be 18ke-. According to our knowledge the presented work is the currently world smallest fully digital image sensor. The chip was designed along with a aspheric single surface lens to assemble on the chip without increasing the form factor. The extremely small form factor of the resulting camera permit's to provide visualization with much higher than state of the art spatial resolution in sub 1mm endoscopic applications, where so far only optical fiber bundles providing 1k - 3k image points could be used. In many applications, such as guide wires and locater devices the small form factor permits to implement visualization for the first time.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Martin Wäny, Stephan Voltz, Fabio Gaspar, and Lei Chen "Minimal form factor digital-image sensor for endoscopic applications", Proc. SPIE 7249, Sensors, Cameras, and Systems for Industrial/Scientific Applications X, 72490V (27 January 2009);


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