AutoFocus & Optical Image Stabilisation
Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
Cameras are seen to be central to the use of smartphones, because they encompass their three core features - communication, vision and functionality. It is no coincidence, therefore, that smartphone vendors focus on camera performance in their advertising; and that they seek constantly to improve that performance to maintain or enhance their competitive position.
CML’s OIS technology started shipping in international smartphones in 2014. OIS is widely recognised as the top improvement to smartphone camera quality in recent years. We are confident that OIS will achieve mass penetration of the smartphone market.
CML's OIS actuators use our patented shape memory alloy (SMA) technology. The technology, plus a single piece of SMA wire, gives force, motion, precision and excellent position control.
Our design makes OIS products much smaller, simpler, and more robust. The structure comprises simply of thin SMA wire and only three additional parts. Each is the thickness of a human hair, produced and assembled using fully automated processes.
With its intrinsic cost advantages, automated manufacture promises high production capacity with:
- a stable yield
- tight quality control and
Small and slim
SMA actuators are less than a third of the height of competing products, and make the thinnest OIS cameras
SMA's high-driving force, combined with our patented control algorithms, promise industry-leading shake suppression performance and camera image quality
Longer Battery Life
SMA OIS uses around just a fifth of the power of competing products, extending smartphone battery life and minimising heat generation
Cameras using competing technology use several strong magnets to move the lens, which leads to magnetic fields interfering with critical handset components. But because SMA OIS does not need magnets, it does not generate a disruptive magnetic field. The result? Allowing handsets the maximum design flexibility
Dual cameras combine the output of two individual cameras to enhance functionality and image quality. Achieving this through competing products is challenging because they magnetically interfere with each other when in close proximity. Because SMA OIS has no magnets, it is the most suitable solution for compact dual camera designs
The selfie camera camera has become extremely popular for taking high-quality stills and video. Yet space and size specifications for a front-facing camera remain very constrained. The simple, compact structure of SMA actuators is the best solution for putting OIS in selfie cameras
AutoFocus + OIS
Consumers' appetite for enhanced camera performance led to an OIS adoption rate of 15% of main cameras in smartphones in 2016. This feature is still predominantly in high-end handsets, and has not yet significantly penetrated the high-volume, mainstream smartphone market. To do that, the difference in size and cost of AF and AF+OIS actuators needs to reduce.
CML is developing actuators using our smart metal technology for both AF and OIS functions. The result is a highly integrated, simple structure, smaller in size than standard AF-only VCM products. We aim to reduce the difference in size and cost of AF and AF+OIS cameras to allow OIS functionality to be included in almost every smartphone.