poLight AF Reverse Engineering

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

SystemPlus publishes a reverse engineering report of poLight AF lens:

"This is a radical technology shift in the camera module world, thanks to the exceedingly small volume of the autofocus. It measures only 8.4mm3, and with a thickness of 0.45mm can be easily integrated in small systems like drones, smartphones, smart watches, etc. We discovered this autofocus in Xiaomi’s latest smartwatch for kids: the Mitu 4 Pro.

The assembly of this autofocus on an 8Mpixels camera module is detailed in our study. Thanks to the PZT, it is faster than the traditional electromechanical autofocus, allowing for almost instantaneous autofocus autofocus adjustment. And with no mechanical parts aside from the membrane, the MEMS autofocus seems more robust than mechanical systems, which is vital in products for children.

The piezoelectric membrane is manufactured by STMicroelectronics, which specifically developed PZT technology to add to its MEMS technology portfolio. Another specific MEMS process is the transducer, which is manufactured on glass membranes etched by micromachining – another specialty of STMicroelectronics.

The secret of this first MEMS autofocus is not only in the piezoelectric material. The design, manufacturing, and characteristics of the polymer used for the lens were developed and patented by poLight, and these things are key for the functionality of the autofocus component."

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