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Matchhead Sized Digital Camera

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May 25, 2005-
Massachusetts company has developed what may be the world's smallest digital imaging sensor. It is expected to revolutionize medical, industrial, and security applications of digital imaging, and will undoubtedly be enviously looked upon by camera and cell phone manufacturers searching for smaller, high resolution sensor options. 

Massachusetts, has developed a 1mm color CMOS digital output video sensor that operates in both full-motion and still capture video modes. Coupled with a micro-minature lens system also developed by ACMI, the sensor and lens result in a camera system that is smaller than the head of a wooden matchstick. 

According to Frank D’Amelio, ACMI’s EVP & Chief Technology Officer, 'This ACMI sensor is the smallest known video sensor to have ever been developed and represents over two years of effort utilizing the best engineering talent in four countries.' 

According to an ACMI press release, 'A camera of such dimensions is uniquely suited for miniature medical, surveillance, military and industrial applications. By using its digital CMOS technology, the sensor can be tailored to produce high resolution full-screen images in both normal and low-light situations.' 

'ACMI has reached a major breakthrough in digital video technology,' said Herald Chen, CEO of ACMI Corporation. 'Our engineers have developed a technology that can be customized to produce the best possible image for many micro applications. We are currently integrating this technology into our own line of endoscopy products and are exploring other applications with a variety of interested parties.' 

While ACMI has not said who those other 'interested parties' are, a 1mm color sensor and miniscule lens combination will surely appeal to manufacturers of increasingly smaller sized digital cameras and camera-equipped cell phones. 

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The release of this new, super-small digital camera sensor comes days after Canadian researchers produced a lens that is five times thinner than a sheet of paper and has no moving parts. 

Quebec created a lens that zooms and focuses when it is bombarded by a laser. The lens, a super thin sheet of light sensitive liquid crystals, becomes more dense in the center and thinner along the edge when exposed to the energy from a laser. Further adjustments in focus and zoom are accomplished when small pulses of electricity alter the lens material.

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