Updated: Oct 28, 2019
How small can a camera sensor be? Well, how about a 1/36" one? If you're confused by the numbers, let's just take the example of one of the most popular smartphone camera sensors out there. The famous 48MP Sony IMX586 has a size of about 0.5 inches (1/2") and the OV6948 from Omnivision is about 0.027 inches. If that's still not clear then the below image shows the OVM6948 camera module that is housing the OV6948 sensor. Notice how tiny it is when placed on top of a finger.
Of course the OV6948 isn't a regular camera sensor & it's not made for your smartphone. The major focus for this product is the medical field. This sensor is mainly made to be used in small-outer-diameter medical endoscopes and catheters but, it can also be used in dental equipment, forensic, IoT devices, security equipment, wearables etc.
Now, if you're thinking that you can record 4K video with it, you're totally wrong. It has an active array size of 208x208 pixels. So, the best it can do is to record 200x200 (1:1) video at 30 frames per second. Sure that doesn't sound like much but in the medical field, it can be pretty useful. The field of view is 120 degrees and the focus range is 3 mm-30 mm. It also has a sensitivity of 1000 mv/lux-sec which can be great in low-light.
Omnivision has a already scored a Guinness World Record for the Smallest Commercially Available Image Sensor for the OV6948. The OVM6948 camera module which will be housing the sensor, is already available for volume production.