DigitalOptics Develops Slimmer, Faster Smartphone Camera Module

If you've ever attempted to take a serious photograph with a cameraphone, you've probably come away disappointed a time or two. Or, perhaps even more. A lot of phones just don't have an advanced autofocusing system, so you're left with either blurry shots taken in haste, or shots that were missed completely because it couldn't focus on the subject in time. DigitalOptics Corporation is hoping to change that with the launch of mems|cam. It's described as a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) autofocus camera module for smartphones, with the modules said to "harness the performance advantages of MEMS technology to deliver dramatically improved speed, power, and precision in smartphone cameras."

DigitalOptics has demonstrated that mems|cam offers significantly faster autofocus, at 1 percent of the power consumption of traditional voice coil motor (VCM) autofocus technology. DOC's mems|cam components provide micron-level precision for greater focus accuracy, leveraging the benefits of semiconductor processing at major wafer foundries. Not to mention, phone makers who use this will be able to make slimmer phones. The camera module is the primary height constraint for smartphones. DOC's first mems|cam module (an 8 megapixel, 1/3.2" format camera) is available in wire bond (COB) and flip chip packages. This module will allow designers to pursue aggressive form factors thanks to its ultra-low z-height of as small as 5.1mm.

The company is at first aiming to get China-based smartphone manufacturers to integrate the new tech, but it surely won't be long before the rest follow suit. As cameras become a tentpole feature in flagship phones, skimping just won't be acceptable.