Partnership yields optical fiber endoscope cables for 4K MIPI video

Omnivision and Silicon Line, a provider of ultra-low-power optical link technology, have developed thin, flexible optical cables for endoscopes and catheters with lengths of two to five meters. Claiming the industry’s first optical fiber endoscope cables, the new solution leverages Silicon Line’s SL85018 serializer/de-serializer (SerDes) IC, which provides the data transmission for Omnivision’s high-resolution, full HD, and 4K MIPI D-PHY-based image sensors, without any significant heat or excessive power consumption, said Omnivision.

The solution uses only one thin optical fiber in place of 10 copper wires for ultra-thin, light and flexible cables that provide the connection between the endoscope camera and the camera control unit (CCU). The ultra-low power SerDes consumes 24 mW at the camera end of the cable, which is said to minimize heat generation.

The SerDes chip measures 1.4 × 1.5 mm (bare die) or 5 × 5 mm (UBGA package), making it easier to incorporate into HD/4K endoscope designs. The optical cables meet EMC/EMI shielding requirements per IEC 60601. Silicon Line’s optical link technology also supports dual-camera operation over the same single fiber.

Partnership yields optical fiber endoscope cables for 4K MIPI video

Click for a larger image. (Source: Omnivision)

“There is a significant need for higher resolution and image quality for gastrointestinal (GI) and airway management endoscopes, which usually use 1080p to 4K2K image sensors running at 60 frames per second. This requires high-speed data transfer of up to 16 Gbits/s over the length of the endoscope that can be up to 5 meters,” said Tehzeeb Gunja, director of medical marketing at Omnivision, in a statement.

Gunja said the optical fiber cables enable high-bandwidth video to be transmitted over several meters with low system power consumption and a comparative cost versus copper cables.

The cables will be available in mid-2022. Omnivision is demonstrating the new cables at MD&M West, April 12-14, booth 1275.