Tiny focus modules enable faster, more accurate detection systems
In biometric applications such as facial recognition and iris scanning, auto focus provides increased field of focus for rapid capture at variable distances. This enables faster, less obtrusive detection systems with very high accuracy.
Dynamic focus also allows both wide field and macro imaging, enabling multi-function cameras that can image facial features, capture video, read barcodes and scan fingerprints with a single device.
New Scale provides production-ready solutions for this market based on our patented piezoelectric motor and related technology. We partner with leading sensor and lens providers to deliver complete solutions from product development through high-volume production.
M3-F Focus Modules
M3-F focus modules are configurable, fully-integrated closed-loop actuators that mount directly on a camera PCB. They easily replace fixed-focus lens holders on miniature board cameras, without adding system size or weight. With very low power requirements, they are ideal for handheld and portable systems.
- Configurable for lenses from M6 to M12
- Compatible with common image sensors including 1/2″ and 1/1.8″ format
- Size approximately 20 × 22 × 16 mm
- Resolution 0.5 μm, accuracy better than 30 μm
- Step and settle time < 20 ms for a 30 μm step.
Based on New Scale's M3 design platform, each M3-F focus module incorporates a piezoelectric SQUIGGLE micro motor, motor drive ASIC, position sensor and microprocessor. The modules accept high-level digital commands via standard serial interface (I2C or SPI). No external control board is necessary.
M3-F modules have low power consumption and maintain focus position during power-off. They use a 3.3V input voltage for battery-powered operation.
M3-F modules have smaller size, higher resolution, and lower power use than traditional stepper motors. They are less expensive, afford more flexibility and are easier to integrate than liquid lenses.
New Scale can quickly configure modules to fit your lens, mounting interface and macro and infinity image plane locations.
Application-specific M3-F focus modules
New Scale customizes M3-F focus modules to specific OEM requirements, simplifying system integration. Starting with our standard M3 platform (SQUIGGLE motor, driver and encoder) components, we can very quickly deliver an application-specific M3-F focus module that has:
- custom housing for mechanical fit
- custom size to fit your specific lens and sensor
- custom microcontroller
- ability to meet extreme system use and abuse requirements
- extended temperature range
- modifications to meet your other unique requirements
- M3-F focus module system diagram
Figure 1 shows the M3-F focus module. The module mounts on the OEM's camera PCB, over the image sensor.
Figure 2 shows a block diagram for the M3-F focus module in a camera system. The SQUIGGLE motor moves the focus lens assembly. The NSE position sensor detects the movement of a multi-pole magnetic strip attached to the lens assembly, and provides the direct digital position information to the motion control processor. The NSD motor drive ASIC accepts commands from the processor and drives the motor. System input is provided as high-level commands from the camera board microprocessor via standard I2C or SPI serial interface. The M3-F operates on standard 3.3 V battery power.
UTAF ultra-thin modules
We create custom focus modules based on our UTAF actuator. These ultra-thin focus modules were originally developed for phone camera applications, and have the highest performance and lowest profile in the industry. They suit high-performance biometric applications where smallest size is a driving constraint. UTAF modules typically have M6 lenses, 1 micron resolution and speeds of 30 micron per 10 msec. Please visit our phone camera application page for more information.
Pan, tilt and optical zoom (PTZ)
In addition to focus, New Scale applies its M3 micro-mechatronics module technology to custom solutions for optical zoom, pan and tilt. All functions can be powered by the same 3.3 V power source. M3 closed-loop motion systems:
- The smallest size
- The lowest power consumption
- The highest resolution
- The highest holding force
M3 modules are complete closed-loop motion systems that are rapidly customized to OEM specifications, and easily controlled using a standard microcontroller interface.
- M3-F information, data sheet with drawings
- Application note, “M3-F custom focus modules mount directly on board cameras”
- The M3 design platform, which allows us to quickly create customized focus modules for OEM applications
Contact us for more information.