New Scale patents tiny, precise lens actuator module for micro cameras

15th March 2013
ES Admin
New Scale Technologies has received a U.S. patent for its UTAF (ultra-thin auto focus) piezoelectric lens actuator module measuring only 8.5 x 8.5 x 3.8 mm. The UTAF actuator module integrates New Scale’s UTAF piezoelectric beam motor with a drive IC and position sensor IC for closed-loop motion control.
Patent # 8,279,541 extends coverage to the module’s precision pin bushing system that moves the lens in a straight line with dynamic tilt of less than 0.1 degree. This low tilt is a critical requirement for high-megapixel cameras and imaging systems. The patent also covers a unique flexure preload or magnetic preload system that produces substantially zero additional friction in the bearing guide, irrespective of the location along the optical centerline. This allows the module to lift a mass at least three times greater than the typical lens mass of 0.25 grams, insuring a low sensitivity to gravity orientation for the camera system.

The U.S. patent was issued October 2, 2012 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to inventors David Henderson, Todd Haran, Matt Wrona, Qin Xu and Daniele Piazza.

“This precision lens actuator module enables development of high-performance vision systems that fit into smaller and smaller form factors – from thin smart phones, to ultra-compact devices for medical imaging and diagnostics,” said David Henderson, CTO and co-CEO of New Scale Technologies. “At the same time, our high level of electronic and mechatronic integration makes it easier for system designers to use this powerful new technology: they simply provide high-level digital commands for step and velocity over a standard SPI or I2C interface.”

New Scale licenses its UTAF module technology to manufacturers worldwide. It is currently licensed by several Tier 1 integrators supplying camera systems to OEM manufacturers.

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