Sensors

Collaboration for advanced MEMS scanning solutions

30th March 2021
Alex Lynn

STMicroelectronics and OQmented have agreed to collaborate on the advancement of MEMS technology for Augmented Reality and 3D-sensing markets. The joint effort aims to build on the expertise of both companies to advance the technology and products behind the leading MEMS-mirror-based laser-beam scanning (LBS) solutions in the market.

ST is contributing its vast MEMS design and manufacturing resources to the collaboration.

To this foundation, OQmented, is moving to further industrialise and mass produce its Bubble MEMS technology, a patented 3D glass-encapsulation approach to hermetic vacuum sealing of the MEMS micro-mirrors. Sealing with these unique glass bubbles eliminates environmental contaminants and minimises light-refraction effects.

In fact, vacuum sealing is a key element for meeting automotive-grade requirements, while simultaneously reducing power consumption by an order of magnitude and enhancing performance for resonant, bi-axial scanners, where the MEMS mirrors move in both axes at their resonant frequency, creating an ultra-compact and extremely power-efficient scanning solution. These resonant mirrors are well suited for display and 3D-sensing applications in mobile devices.

“In teaming with ST, we’ve chosen a solid semiconductor partner that has demonstrated its leading position in design and manufacturing of MEMS products, particularly MEMS mirrors, over the past 20 years,” said Dr Ulrich Hofmann, CEO/CTO and Co-founder, OQmented. “Combining ST’s expertise in developing, marketing, and manufacturing key components for laser-beam scanning solutions with OQmented’s knowledge and intellectual property will contribute greatly to our product offering, manufacturing capacity, and marketing channels, while also expanding the market in numerous application areas.”

“Our goal in working with OQmented is to leverage our shared expertise and deep understanding of LBS technologies with the mutual vision to continue the adoption and growth of LBS in key applications, such as Augmented Reality and 3D sensing,” added Anton Hofmeister, Vice President and General Manager MEMS Microactuator Division, STMicroelectronics. “This collaboration further strengthens ST’s position as a world leader in LBS solutions and expands its market outreach to additional opportunities through the Company’s product portfolio of MEMS mirrors and associated components, including ST’s MEMS drivers, controllers, and Laser Diode Drivers.”

From this joint effort, ST and OQmented plan to market a wide range of scanning solutions. These would include MEMS mirrors, MEMS drivers and controllers, and complete reference designs of laser-beam scanning engines for a range of applications. In addition, the companies intend to collaborate on an LBS roadmap and in the development of future technologies and products.

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