28 Mar 2023

SMA technology receives endorsements by leading strategy analysis and market research companies Yole and Counterpoint

Leading market analysts have described the clear benefits of Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) actuation technology for smartphone camera performance, highlighting the Alps Alpine announcement on mass production of SMA actuators for camera modules.

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The Yole Group, who provide market research, technology and strategy analysis and more, published an extensive article covering ALPs Alpine’s move into SMA technology solutions as part of the Status of the Camera Module Industry 2022 Report.

Counterpoint, a global industry analysts firm, published its summary findings from Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, containing a section on technology innovations, focusing on new OIS technologies enabled by SMA actuators (page 27).

Both reports include descriptions of the benefits of SMA Technology over traditional voice-coil motor (VCM) actuators. These include miniaturized compact design, power efficiency and ease of integration in a wide range of devices where magnetic interference is a concern, like foldable smartphones. Indeed, SMA technology does not require the use of Hall sensors that are widely adopted by VCM systems. SMA offers higher load, making it suitable for adoption with variable apertures and gimbal-like stabilisation in very small form factor devices.

SMA actuation stands out among existing actuation solutions.

- YoleGroup report

The Yole article points out that the “mass production by Alps Alpine can also bring larger sensors and optics and advanced image stabilization to more mid-range handsets.” Furthermore, Yole’s analysts suggested that “the advantages of SMA technology combined with the cost reduction afforded by mass production promises not only to increase penetration of advanced image correction and larger sensors into mid-tier smartphones, but also creates new design possibilities for the higher tier, thus touching all segments of this market.”

Cambridge Mechatronics recently announced the 8-wire AF+OIS actuator, capable of precise movement along the X, Y and Z axis, as well as pitch and yaw, and is featured in the Huawei Mate 50 Pro and Porsche design series, receiving top-scores on the DxOMark upon release.

About CML: Cambridge Mechatronics Limited (CML) is a world-leading developer of mechanical, optical, electrical, silicon and software designs for system-level solutions using its Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) platform technology. Actuator solutions using SMA wire (as thin as a human hair) can be controlled to the accuracy of the wavelength of light. These actuators are particularly suited to applications that require high levels of precision and force, in a compact and lightweight design.

If you'd like to learn more about CML or SMA technology, please do get in touch.