CML Technology

8 Wire

Introducing SMA 8-wire AF+OIS

The development of the new 8-wire Autofocus (AF) + Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) actuator from Cambridge Mechatronics Ltd (CML) is designed to bring premium camera performance to mid-high range handsets, utilsing CML's world class Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) technology, and direct from proven and experienced supply chains in China and Japan. 8-wire AF+OIS has been designed as an integrated closed-loop camera that is more efficient in terms of its size, component count, material use and production cost, compared to traditional Voice Coil Motor (VCM). The 8-wire AF+OIS product is free from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and can be placed in close proximity to other EMI emitting products such as antennae, loudspeakers or camera modules thus providing greater design flexibility. 


By placing SMA wires in a three-dimensional configuration around the lens, the single actuator can perform both OIS and AF functions simultaneously. Through electronically controlling the heating and cooling of the SMA Material using CML's own CM824 controller IC, the mechanism rapidly adjusts wire length, creating fast and precise actuation. CML’s patented SMA actuator technology is proven to be reliable and has shipped in > 50 million units to date, routinely achieving top camera quality scores from independent testing such as DXOmark. The first smartphone incorporating CML’s new 8-wire AF+OIS was released in high-volume mass production in Q3 2022 and received highly rated expert reviews. To date, >1 million units have been shipped. 

Benefits of SMA 8-wire AF+OIS

In comparison to traditional VCM designs, which require separate OIS and AF actuators, CML’s SMA technology uses only one actuator. Further benefits of the 8-wire AF+OIS over traditional VCM include:  

Simple design & low production costs 

  • 37% fewer components and assembly steps 
  • Potential to remove costly active alignment in production through lens tilt motion
  • Easy integration with Variable Aperture (VA)  

Compactness 

  • Small XYZ footprint (13% smaller size than a VCM) 
  • Low camera Z height supports slim devices including folding phones 

High actuation force

  • Support for large format image sensors, including large-diameter hybrid glass lenses  
  • Support for lens-mounted VA 

No Hall sensors, coils or magnets

  • Can be placed in a compact camera cluster, near EMI sensitive components or next to permanent magnets used as a latching mechanism in folding phones 
  • No Hall sensors & Hall sensor calibration requirements 

Find Out More

Additionally, CML provides dedicated support to its customers, licensees and supply chain partners for the full system integration, including CML’s optimised CM824 controller IC and firmware, delivering maximum camera performance. 
 
8-wire AF+OIS is ready to support the next generation of smartphone cameras, addressing previous challenges of size, space, and cost. CML and its use of SMA technology provide cutting-edge solutions to its customers that are miniature and flexible in design. CML’s licensees and partnered camera makers have multiple designs available for immediate design-in.  

If you would like to learn more or request a demo, please get in touch.

Actuator held by Tweezers

Small, lightweight, precise and powerful

CML's SMA actuators are particularly suited to technology applications that require high levels of precision and force, in a compact and lightweight design.

Learn about SMA actuators