Our pioneering OIS solution, CML’s SMA 4-wire lens shift OIS actuator entered high-volume mass production in 2019. To date, over 50 million actuator units have been shipped into numerous handsets for more than 7 brands, with many of the cameras receiving top scores in independent testing by DxOMark. The technology is licensed to multiple experienced actuator suppliers and is associated with a growing network of camera module integrators.
Traditional AF and OIS actuators for smartphone cameras use electromagnetic voice coil motor (VCM) technology first developed over 200 years ago. In this embodiment, permanent magnets sit opposite copper coils where electrically induced magnetism provides the force for motion. The magnets and coils are large, the force generated is low, and for precise control additional position (Hall) sensors are required.
CML’s 4-wire technology uses shape memory alloy (SMA) wire as thin as human hair, and a minimum number of components resulting in a product with compact form factor. More information on CML’s SMA technology can be found here.
The 4-wire design is readily scalable. Products for 1/2.0”, 1/1.56” and 1/1.3” image sensor formats are in mass production and ready for immediate design-in. A 1” image sensor compatible design is currently in development.
The actuator has a static and a moving portion, to which the lens is affixed. The wires are held in place between these components using crimps – these are shown below in the corners of the actuator. Due to crystallographic phase transitions in the material at the operating temperatures, SMA wires can generate a high force for high load use cases. As with all SMA products from CML, SMA 4-wire OIS is free from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and can be placed near other EMI emitting system components, thus providing greater design flexibility.
High actuation force
No Hall sensors, coils or magnets
CML provides the full actuator and control solution including CML Controller ICs and firmware to ensure that all elements of the solution work together to deliver optimized OIS performance. Furthermore, CML provides full solution support to its customers, licensees, and camera integrators through design-in and mass production.
The 4-wire design has also been adopted in our Sensor Shift OIS product, with 8-wire variants offering AF+OIS and Module Tilt OIS.
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 integrators have multiple designs available for immediate design-in. If you would like to learn more or request a demo or evaluation sample, please get in touch.
With its multidisciplinary engineering skillset, and design and simulation tools, CML’s team has mastered the control of SMA for precision applications.Learn about CML technology
Cambridge Mechatronics Ltd. Copyright 2023