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A MEMS Autofocus

Change may be coming to the world of camera autofocus. Traditional smartphone autofocus uses a voice coil to move the lenses and change the focus. While this has obviously worked, a company called poLight thinks it could work better. In particular, faster and smaller.

They’ve fashioned a MEMS autofocus module. By goosing a couple of piezoelectric electrodes on a thin plate of glass, they can warp the glass – and therefore change the surface of a polymer block, turning it into a lens. The amount of actuation determines the curvature and hence the focus.

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They claim that, unlike voice coil, this arrangement can withstand reflow solder temperatures, simplifying manufacturing and reducing cost. It also operates faster than a voice coil, improving performance for users.

You can find more on their website.

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