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OMNIVISION Camera Chips Embedded In New FDA-Approved Medical Intubation System From ETView
Jun 07, 2006

INTEGRATED DISPOSABLE CAMERA IMPROVES SUCCESS RATE OF INTUBATIONS

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — June 7, 2006 — OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OVTI), a world leading supplier of CMOS image sensors, today announced that its widely adopted CameraChip™ products are enabling an important breakthrough in intubation technology. The OmniVision CameraChip has been designed into an innovative Tracheoscopic Ventilation Tube (TVT), developed by ETView, which for the first time allows doctors to view the point of insertion for intubation, greatly enhancing their ability to successfully place the tube in the patient’s windpipe. The new product marks the first time that a single-use sensor is being used for real-time internal monitoring of internal organs.

The TVT from ETView operates with a tiny disposable video camera at its tip for a continuous view of the upper airway and trachea during intubation via a portable screen or monitor. The product has received FDA approval and began shipping to customers earlier this month.

“The introduction of the TVT product is a milestone for OmniVision because it represents the first FDA approved medical imaging device that uses an OmniVision sensor,” said Hasan Gadjali, OmniVision’s Vice President of Advanced Products. “We are proud that ETView chose our camera chip for this revolutionary new product that will help save lives and reduce intubation-related injuries and we look forward to supporting them in the development of their future products.”

The TVT tube retains the same dimensions that have been used by the medical industry for decades. Enabling its small size is the embedded 1/7-inch CMOS image sensor camera created by OmniVision, which is part of the tube’s interior, yet does not impede the flow of air. The CIF resolution camera chip is a singlechip video/imaging camera device that delivers high functionality in a single, small-footprint package. The image array used in the ETView device operates at up to 30 frames per second.

The underlying sensor technology is based on advanced algorithms that cancel fixed-pattern noise, eliminate smearing and dramatically reduce blooming—issues that consistently prevent high-quality images.

“The quality and clarity of the picture produced by the TVT rivals the best medical photography in the marketplace,” commented Ofer Fridman, ETView’s Chief Technology Officer. “We are delighted with how effectively the single use intubation tube performs after we modified it to house a camera.”

In North and South America, approximately 50 million intubations are performed annually. Although considered common practice, it is far from commonly successful. To intubate properly, a tube must be inserted between the vocal cords and into the trachea. However, even with a patient’s mouth held open with the aid of a laryngoscope, the vocal cords are not visible. Further complicating the process, directly behind the trachea lies the esophagus, which leads to the stomach. If the tube is placed in the esophagus by mistake, or if it slips from the tracheal position and not immediately repositioned, the error can lead to brain injuries and permanent disabilities, or even be fatal.

Not only is the TVT easy to use even for those with minimal training, it also reduces the overall cost of the intubation procedure. Today, hospitals are required to take a mobile X-ray for each intubation performed outside of the operating room to verify the position of the tube. By providing a real-time image, the TVT eliminates the need for these X-rays.

Although the smallest camera available was used, the TVT is still too large for intubating infants and children. ETView and OmniVision are currently developing next-generation devices to address this market.

Safe-Harbor Language

Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the performance and capabilities of OmniVision’s CameraChips used in conjunction with ETView’s products, and the anticipated development of additional products by ETView that would incorporate CameraChips, are forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties, which could cause the forward looking statements and OmniVision’s results to differ materially, include, without limitation: potential errors, design flaws or other problems with OmniVision’s CameraChips or ETView’s products that incorporate CameraChips, and the other risks detailed from time to time in OmniVision’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including, but not limited to, OmniVision’s annual reports filed on Form 10- K and quarterly reports filed on Form 10-Q. OmniVision disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forward looking statement. 

About OMNIVISION

OMNIVISION is a global fabless semiconductor organization that develops advanced digital imaging, analog, and touch & display solutions for multiple applications and industries, including mobile phones; security and surveillance; automotive; computing; medical; and emerging applications. Its award-winning innovative technologies enable a smoother human/machine interface in many of today’s commercial devices. Find out more at www.ovt.com.

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