SMA Variable Aperture

Why variable aperture for smartphones?

Capturing the perfect shot is about more than just pointing and clicking. It's about control, creativity, and versatility in varying light conditions or depth of field (DoF). Variable aperture (VA) technology has emerged as a new feature for leading smartphone cameras, enabling aperture control to fit the scene like in DSLR cameras. With VA, photographers can switch from a light to dark scene, or bokeh portait to a group shot or crisp landscape with a larger DoF in an instant – without digital filters.

Challenges with VCM technology for variable aperture

Incumbent variable aperture systems for smartphones rely on Voice Coil Motor (VCM) technology, which comes with its set of challenges:

  • Power consumption: VCM requires battery power to keep the VA in place, resulting in high power usage and adds more heat to the lens when the camera is on. When the power is switched off, the VA blades may become loose and can move around and lose their position, making the aperture appear broken.
  • Magnetic interference: The magnets in VCMs can interfere with other electronic components within your smartphone.
  • Size constraints: VCM actuators are bulky, leading to a pronounced camera bump on the device.
  • Weight: Due to the magnets and coils, VCM systems tend to be quite heavy, which impacts the performance of auto-focus and optical image stabilization.
  • Limited aperture range: VCM-based VA typically struggles with aperture sizes smaller than f/4.

These limitations necessitate a leap forward in aperture technology for smartphones – a leap made possible with CML’s SMA Variable Aperture.

Benefits of SMA Variable Aperture

CML’s pioneering Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) technology redefines what is possible with a variable aperture:

  • Energy efficiency: SMA technology consumes less power, contributing to longer battery life for your device. SMA maintains aperture position with Zero Hold Power (ZHP) technology, providing high stability when the handset is in motion, without continuous power draw.
  • No magnetic interference: With SMA, your camera operates flawlessly, without affecting sensitive components nearby.
  • Compact design: The actuator’s small footprint allows it to fit within existing smartphone profiles without extending the camera bump out.
  • Lightweight: The SMA actuator is significantly lighter than VCM, facilitating better AF and OIS performance.
  • Continuous range: The SMA Variable Aperture offers a continuous range of aperture sizes for advanced depth of field control.
  • Durability: CML’s SMA Variable Aperture is designed for longevity, capable of withstanding the demands of daily use without degradation in performance.

Find Out More

Are you ready to experience the cutting-edge of smartphone photography? To learn more about how CML’s SMA Variable Aperture can power the next generation of mobile cameras, connect with us today

Read more about the Benefits of Continuous Variable Aperture using Shape Memory Alloy

Learn more about SMA Variable Aperture

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