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CMOS: Next Generation Image Sensors

The advent of the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on image sensor manufacturers.

The growing use of high-resolution photography devices with sensor technology for smartphone, automotive, clinical, and health sciences applications drives the market towards image sensors. Furthermore, because of economic shutdowns, global sales of image sensors have fallen substantially. Despite sales decline in the healthcare and life science industries, image sensor technology has retained a sustainable growth rate over the last four years.

Low-light camera technology, classified as CCD (charged coupled device) and CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) techniques, are increasingly being used in handsets and biomedical purposes, with a market value of USD 18.4 billion expected by 2024.

Experts project the CMOS hardware market to lead over the market growth because of several advantages over CCD image sensors.

Higher resolution, compact size, better frame rates, power efficiency, increased sensitivity, reduced noise, and cheaper production costs are only a few of the significant benefits of CM.

CMOS v/s CCD sensors 

The distinction between both the sensors arises from the transmission of charge from the pixel to the imaging device. CCD generates an analog pulse, while CMOS generates a digital pulse.

Experts commonly use digital cameras in biomedical applications. While they primarily use the analog output in applications that demand constant feedback. Life science businesses do not require continuous feedback, and so the CMOS sensors are popular here.

The biotech industry is trying to enhance CMOS sensors by incorporating attractive characteristics, such as higher resolutions, compact size, better frame rates, power efficiency, increased sensitivity, noise reduction, and reduced production cost.

How CMOS is helpful in Medical Imaging and Life Sciences 

CMOS has a wide range of applications in the biomedical sciences, including:

Dental and Oral Imaging

Teledyne DALSA has produced CMOS image sensor systems for oral imaging uses, such as cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), panorama, and cephalometric scanning. CMOS image sensors provide considerable benefits over conventional ones, including radiation-hard pixels for a longer image sensor lifespan and packaging encapsulation technique for enduring severe conditions, vibrations, and traumas.

Mammography (Digital)

Sony optronics provides a CMOS HD Camera imaging system with the next-gen imaging technology and improved low-light sensitivity, showing outstanding picture and video rendering ability at a reasonable rate. It works in sync with the majority of surgical and operational microscope models.


JAI provides a range of industrial RGB zone scanning lenses with 3-CMOS prism-based innovation for medical and life science purposes.

The 3CMOS range offers greater color correctness and geometric precision than traditional Bayer-filter lenses, making it ideal for color vision systems.

JAI’s prism-based RGB lenses divide the incident light into red, green, and blue wavelengths, then transmit them to three precisely aligned CMOS sensors. Unlike standard color cameras using the Bayer mosaic approach via color imaging.

Offering outputs of 3 × 3.2 MPs at 38 fps and 79 fps, these cameras provide excellent resolution coupled with unprecedented frame rates.

Doctors use CMOS in ophthalmology, eye inspection, and examine internal characteristics. It is also helpful in studying the retina, optic nerve head, macula, and vasculature within blood vessels, providing precise and comprehensive color pictures.

Visual Reconstruction with X-rays

Teledyne DALSA has successfully created a Xineos X-Ray Image Synthesis Technology that surpasses previous limitations by collecting crisp panoramic pictures. The technique employs elevated frame-based CMOS sensors to record a 3D tomographic volume comprising therapeutically critical human anatomy. We achieve a perfect 2D panoramic projection with absolute clarity throughout the image, independent of the patient’s posture, allowing for better diagnosis and fewer re-takes.

Digital Diagnosis and Endoscopic Treatment

For endoscopic imaging, the most recent CMOS sensors capture even the most minute color changes and features. Endoscopy and surgical image sensors are examples of this. Pathology in the digital age JAI Apex lenses are suitable for recording human tissue sections, biopsy testing, and cell specimens in microscopes and entire slide scanners.

Orthopedics and Surgery

Olympus provides a variety of microscopy solutions to satisfy the demands of life science researchers in fields such as cancer research, culture media, cell biology, pharmaceutical development, spectroscopy, live-cell imaging, neurological imaging, and regenerative science. CMOS and CCD chip sensors provide digital image resolutionWith mega-resolution and crisp 3D pictures, these microscopes record the crystal details and morphological change within neurons, as well as the deep structure of cells. Hence, it aids in the capture of calcium-sensitive pigments as well as high-speed reactions of membrane permeability.


Finally, to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of the biotech and healthcare industry, dependable, precise, and high-performance camera sensors are vitally needed to increase image precision and effectiveness. Technological advances at the pixel level have resulted in life-changing functionality for the CMOS sensor, culminating in attributes like reduced noise, supersensitivity, and better and more dependable visual quality. Using CMOS image processing in medical lab equipment and biotechnology appears to be promising. As per market analysis, the Image sensor industry may reach USD 28.0 billion by 2025, up from an anticipated USD 18.5 billion in 2020, at an 8.6 percent CAGR (2020-2025).

As a function, this technology can substitute other imaging methods, resulting in newer disposable endoscopic tips (camera modules) and the next generation of disposable devices.

The advantages of this modern CMOS image sensor technology, particularly BSI advanced technologies, include increased picture quality and lower production costs, transforming portable endoscopes from a fad to a feasible alternative to conventional endoscopes. Clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings.

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