A 1mm³ sized camera, about the same size as a grain of salt and costing a Euro or two, could be a tool in doctors’ surgeries next year.
Fraunhofer makes the cameras on a wafer by fabricating a layer of sensors, then fabricating a lens layer on top of the sensor layer. The wafer is then diced into 28,000 cameras, each with 250 pixel x 250 pixel resolution.
The cameras get down to the dimensions of the ICs which analogue companies call ‘silicon dust’.
The cheapness of the cameras allows for one-time use. Doctors could use them for endoscopy and then throw them away.
Fraunhofer reckons the cameras could also be used to eliminating driver blind-spots, detecting eyelid movement in drivers which could be caused by drowsiness, and augmenting rear-view mirrors.
The security applications are, of course, both manifold and scary.
Production is planned for 2012.
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