CCD Based Camera Design Project
In fall 2004, I've setup a team for the design and development of a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) based imaging device to be used in industrial and medical imaging applications.
We have come to the final prototype stage at the time of this article is being written in which the image quality is satisfactory and the electronics design has almost been finalized except a couple of minor fine tunings.
In our design we have chosen to use Sony's SuperHAD CCDs due to their excellent performance under low light conditions. We have also used Sony's CCD chipset for analog front end, vertical driver and digital signal processing functions.
Although having excellency in CCD design, Sony is quite conservative when it comes to sharing engineering documents with 3rd parties. We have lost enormous time for getting documents and parts from Sony. Keep this in mind if you are going to use Sony parts.
Our Current design is based on Sony's 1/4" interlaced PAL/NTSC CCDs. We are planning to release other versions based on higher resolution progressive scan CCDs and CMOS image sensors as well.
It's possible to achieve smaller footprints by using CMOS image sensors but their performance is usually worse than CCD sensors under low light conditions.
After making a couple of fine tunings on the prototype, next steps will be industrial design, 3D modelling, molding, PC software development for image capture, editing and archival.
Once making field tests using a sample run of 100 units, we will move to mass production. Hopefully :)