Single board 14mm x 14mm industrial HD-SDI camera / super small medical HD-SDI camera

Updated: Jan 7


single board super small HD-SDI camera
14mm x 14mm Full HD SDI camera with Sony IMX327 sensor

SUPER LOW POWER CONSUMPTION -FULL HD SDI CAMERA - ONLY 0.4W


skoopia has released a next member of its industrial and medical SDI cameras. This camera is specifically designed for OEM integration in space constraint places, as it is a super-small, single board 14mm by 14mm board camera with extremely low light sensitivity. The camera is called skoopia 21C14S, having the super sensitive Sony Starvis Exmor R IMX327 sensor on board. It sets the industry standard in digital camera technology for super small cameras, replacing small 14mm by 14mm and Φ 19 mm single board CVBS OEM cameras.


Key USPs skoopia 21C14S

  • Super sensitive 1/2.8" Sony Starvis Exmor R sensor (IMX327)

  • Extremely small form factor: 14mm x 14mm single board (fits Φ 19 mm)

  • No latency

  • Easy integration via reversable FFC (flexible flat cable) on OEM board

  • u-fl connector for easy SDI

  • Extreme long cable distances possible via EX-SDI (1.0 / 2.0 / 2.1)

  • Operational temperature range: -40°C / 85°C

  • Super low power: 0.4 W via smart powering: 1.2 V & 3.3 V

  • VISCA dynamic camera control via direct register access (UART 3.3V)

  • True DOL WDR: max. 130 dB, WDR fully customizable

Competition

skoopia is unaware of super small 14mm x 14mm alternatives for super small CVBS cameras. There are several vendors that offer cameras that approach this size ( still somewhat larger in outer dimensions of the board size), but these vendors offer dual / triple board and have a sizeable depth (single board skoopia = 2 mm, other vendors, while board size being larger offering > 20 mm). Moreover, these vendors often only offer AHD in 720p. In SDI we have not seen any vendor supplying solutions.

Super sensitive medical and industrial 1/2.8" sensor (Sony IMX327)

The industrial and medical super small HD-SDI camera / EX-SDI camera 21C14S comprises the Sony IMX327 (Sony Starvis Exmor R) sensor, which is a 1/2.8" sensor. The very large sensor of 1/2.8" offers Full HD output in the Full HD aspect ratio (16;9), effectively providing the most sensitive single board 14mm x 14mm SDI camera. See the spectral sensitivity curve of the Sony IMX327 below:

Super sensitive IMX327 on 14mm x 14mm camera
Super sensitive super small camera with IMX327 and its sensitivity characteristics

Figure 1 Sony Starvis Exmor R IMX327 spectral sensitivity characteristics The combination of the sensor' s large pixel sizes and superior light quantum efficiency (Sony Starvis Exmor R technology) provides a super sensitive digital OEM camera that in low light conditions provides an unsurpassed digital image quality.

Super small industrial and medical Full HD SDI camera - single board 14mm x 14mm

skoopia's 21C14S is a super small single board HD-SDI/EX-SDI camera providing Full HD digital video output without latency. An space contstraint setting requiring video footage in an OEM apparatus (e.g. medical robotics, medical endoscopy, microscopy, industrial borescopy).

Video output is provided via coax connection, being a u-fl connector. Moreover, purposefully a FFC (Flexible Flat Cable) integration is chosen. Four reasons to use the FFC:

  • Soldering at sub-millimeter dimensions is cumbersome even in conditioned manufacturing environments. The FFC connector and corresponding ribbon cable (FFC) avoid soldering mistakes, ease the connection and allows for additional signals. skoopia used the possibility of additional signals to implemented the FFC connection in such a way that reversed implementation of the ribbon cable will not damage the unig signal mirrorring)


Smart Flat Foil Connector and ribbon cable design

Regular connection          Reverse connection
Ribbon cable (1-n, 1-n)     Ribbon cable (1-n, n-1)  
or FFC-regular              or FFC-reverse 
or FFC-reverse  reverse     or FFC-regular reverse installed    
installed

Pin
1   3,3V                    1   3,3V   (equals pin 10 regular)                                                      2   GND                     2   GND    (equals pin 9 regular)
3   1,2V                    3   1,2 V  (equals pin 8 regular)
4   GND                     4   GND    (equals pin 7 regular) 
5   Rx                      5   Tx     (not equal, but no damage)
6   Tx                      6   Rx     (not equal, but no damage)   
7   GND                     7   GNd    (equals pin 4 regular)   
8   1,2 V                   8   1,2V   (equals pin 3 regular)       
9   GND                     9   GND    (equals pin 2 regular)    
10  3,3V                    10  3,3V   (equals pin 1 regular)

The above connection scheme allows for wrongly connecting the camera to the power connector, without damaging the camera. Although communication is not possible if wrongly connected, the camera will still function (as powering is available), making a potential assessment of image quality and/or problem solving significantly more easy.

  • Soldering of sub-millimeter connections by operators in the field is impossible. Moreover, the FFC connector allows easy replacement of the medical /industrial HD-SDI camera. Connectivity is removed and/established by merely opening/closing the clip of the FFC, making replacment of the camera unit straightforward.

  • An FFC connector on an OEM integration board is also having the smallest possible footprint for such amount of connections. Typically, OEM integration boards are present, as such boards typically take care of: 1) OEM camera lighting, 2) Required measurement information not provided by the industrial camera (e.g. pressure, tilt, GPS location, temperature (in camera housing, but also outside housing temperature).

  • The choice for an FFC offers more flexibility with respect to length to the OEM integration board, as ribbon cable lengths can be customized. An FPC (Flexible Printed Circuit) offers a small footprint advantage (no connector required on the Printed Circuit Board), but has disadvantages in reliability, maintenance and offers no flexibility in length. (Click here for comparison of FFC and FPC).

Next to smart connectors, the 21C14S super small EX-SDI camera also offers subtle but crucial dimenion adaptations to meet round implementations by having cut off corners to meet Φ 19 mm requirement. Moreover, the cut-off corners also make fixation a lot easier in square solutions offering the possibility to fix it in the corners.

21C14S - single board 14 mm x 14 mm Full HD HD-SDI/EX-SDI camera

  • Sensor/DSP board 14mm x 14mm (cut off corners to meet Φ 19 mm)

  • FFC and connector for easy integration in OEM PCB

  • Small separate solder connector board for easy initial testing

  • FFC length is customizable (here: 50 mm)

  • For easy image quality testing, a 14mm x 14mm lens mount for M12 lenses is available. Moreover, industrial camera samples are delivered with a separate solder collector board, allowing assessment of the camera performance without the investment of connector integration on the OEM integration board.

Comparing 21C14S with single board 14mm x 14mm OEM CVBS cameras The skoopia 21C14S industrial EX-SDI camera and medical HD-SDI camera is targeted at OEM integrations requiring small single board footprint. This could be new applications, but also replacement of existing - CVBS based- cameras. CVBS cameras measuring 14mm x 14mm, Φ 19 mm or larger dimensions could be replaced using the 21C14AT. Reasons to replace industrial as well as medical CVBS cameras with the skoopia medical EX-SDI camera and industrial HD-SDI camera.

  • CVBS cameras provide a lower image resolution (quite some implementations of single board 14mm x 14mm or Φ 19 mm even deliver resolutions below PAL standard (e.g. 640x480 and not 768x 576, while the 21C14S camera delivers 1920x1080

  • CVBS industrial cameras typically are based on "old" sensor and "old" DSP. Three reasons to change: 1) End of life of such DSP and sensor is expected soon or already a reality. 2) Sensors are significantly less sensitive ("4 generations old") 3) Sensors are typically 1/4", compared to 1/2.8", providing significantly more image distortion, particularly if larger viewing angles are required.

  • Easy integration of the skoopia 21C14S OEM camera to replace the CVBS with an industrial and/or medical HD-SDI camera, as form, fit and function are maintained.


Comparing 21C14S with single board 14mm x 14mm OEM AHD/TVI cameras

Both cameras have their own merit in replacing the 14mm x 14mm as well as the Φ 19 mm CVBS cameras. Based on compemporary knowledge (status January 2022) no other vendors supply single board super small Full HD super sensitive cameras without latency). Yet, we want to guide the reader in properly selecting the relevant skoopia camera with 14mm x 14mm dimensions.


The 21C14AT (super small AHD board camera) should be selected in settings where:

  • Low frequency (read: extreme long distances) as well as plural connectors / sliprings are used. Here AHD is more likely to overcome "non feasible" HD-SDI and even EX-SDI 2.1 situations.

  • If high EMC influences are present (read high fluctuation voltages nearby are running close to the video wire), SDI is not the preferred signal, but balanced output is.

When to choose balance output?

Assume a camera provides Video in (V+) and (V-).

Assume the EMC impact due to (e.g. electrical currents running parallel or close to the video wiring to amount to  δ.

Then the video signal:  (V+) becomes  (V+) +  δ

A regular Video / GND signal (e.g. SDI)  would include these external influences δ, making the video signal (V+) + δ.

Balanced video (V+ and V-) would theoretically (infinite fine wires, at the exact same position) have the same external impact on the video signal being: 
* (V+) becomes  (V+) +  δ
*(V-)  becomes  (V-) +  δ
Substracting these video signals without EMC/noise at the end of the cable would result in: 
(V+) - (V-) = 2*(V+)

Theoretical substracting of the video signals with EMC/noise being identical on the entire video chain would result in: 

((V+) + δ) - ((V-) +δ) = (V+) - (V-