Nanoelectronics research center Imec and Ximea, a creator of machine vision systems, announced their partnership in integrating Imec’s Hyper Spectral Imaging (HSI) sensors into Ximea’s XiQ USB3.0 camera product line. Interoperability between the camera’s and sensor’s technology was key to the success of this integration.
By applying narrow-band spectral filters at pixel-level using semiconductor thin-film processing, Imec’s technology enables HSI sensor solutions with compactness, low weight, reliability and proven capabilities to be mass produced at low cost in volume. Three types of standard spectral image sensor designs are today available: 100 band line-scan design, 32 band snapshot-tiled design and a snapshot mosaic design featuring 16 bands in a matrix of 4x4 per-pixel filters.
Ximea coupled Imec’s HSI sensors to its XiQ camera product line, which features a form factor with unmet specification today for the HSI space: XiQ cameras feature a 26.4 millimetre (mm) × 26.4mm × 21.6mm total dimension and a weight of 27 grams. With its XiQ series cameras, Ximea has one of the world’s smallest industrial USB3 Vision and HSI cameras. Ximea achieves this compact footprint by using a single planar rigid board construction as opposed to competing multi-board and multi-fold flexi-rigid printed circuit board (PCB) construction, making the XiQ easier to integrate into specialised equipment and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) designs. XiQ cameras consume only 1.8 watts (W), easing the power and thermal management design challenges of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for example.