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Cambridge Mechatronics and InvenSense technology combined in Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors

Cambridge Mechatronics’ software and algorithms are be combined with InvenSense’s controllers for use in mobile phone camera technology.

Higher resolutions and greater use of glass in mobile phone cameras means there is greater need for SMA OIS actuators (7418540)
Higher resolutions and greater use of glass in mobile phone cameras means there is greater need for SMA OIS actuators (7418540)

Milton Road-based Cambridge Mechatronics (CML) is a smart materials engineering company that designs miniature motors using shape memory alloy (SMA), which remembers its shape.

Its software will be combined with the optical image stabilisation (OIS) camera software controllers created by InvenSense, a TDK Group company, in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon application processors for mobile phones. This will reduce camera size and cost, as well as simplifying system integration.

Smartphone camera actuators using CML’s SMA technology are also being manufactured by TDK, which has been a CML licensee for several years.

Actuators in smartphone camera modules improve image quality by moving optical components with a high level of precision.

OIS actuators counteract handshake, allowing longer exposure times and improving low light photography.

SMA OIS actuators are able to move heavy masses more accurately.

As the resolution of smartphone cameras increases, and the optics become larger and heavier, conventional actuators struggle. This is exacerbated by the trend to increase the amount of glass in smartphone camera lenses to improve image quality.

Andy Osmant, managing director at CML, said: “This is a further endorsement of our longstanding partnership with TDK, with whom we are working closely to provide our SMA technology and the associated software control algorithms for use in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips.

“The launch of the new SMA OIS controller should accelerate the adoption of our SMA technology across smartphone OEMs.

“We continue to expand our product portfolio and are enabling next-generation technological solutions for smartphone cameras, to meet the evolving demands of the industry.”

The new TDK SMA OIS software controller will be showcased by TDK and CML at Mobile World Congress.

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