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New Scale patents tiny, precise lens actuator module for micro cameras

Piezoelectric micro motor is coupled with innovative micro-mechanical design to minimize lens tilt, enabling extremely high-precision imaging in micro-camera formats

Victor, NY — March 13, 2013 — New Scale Technologies, Inc. has received a U.S. patent for its UTAF (ultra-thin auto focus) piezoelectric lens actuator module measuring only 8.5 x 8.5 x 3.8 mm. The UTAF actuator module integrates New Scale’s UTAF piezoelectric beam motor with a drive IC and position sensor IC for closed-loop motion control.  Patent # 8,279,541 extends coverage to the module’s precision pin bushing system that moves the lens in a straight line with dynamic tilt of less than 0.1 degree. This low tilt is a critical requirement for high-megapixel cameras and imaging systems. The patent also covers a unique flexure preload or magnetic preload system that produces substantially zero additional friction in the bearing guide, irrespective of the location along the optical centerline. This allows the module to lift a mass at least three times greater than the typical lens mass of 0.25 grams, insuring a low sensitivity to gravity orientation for the camera system.

The U.S. patent was issued October 2, 2012 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to inventors David Henderson, Todd Haran, Matt Wrona, Qin Xu and Daniele Piazza.

“This precision lens actuator module enables development of high-performance vision systems that fit into smaller and smaller form factors – from thin smart phones, to ultra-compact devices for medical imaging and diagnostics,” said David Henderson, CTO and co-CEO of New Scale Technologies. “At the same time, our high level of electronic and mechatronic integration makes it easier for system designers to use this powerful new technology: they simply provide high-level digital commands for step and velocity over a standard SPI or I2C interface.”

New Scale licenses its UTAF module technology to manufacturers worldwide. It is currently licensed by several Tier 1 integrators supplying camera systems to OEM manufacturers. Contact NSTsales@newscaletech.com for licensing information.

Growing patent portfolio

In the ten years since its founding in 2002, New Scale has secured ten US patents and corresponding international patents for piezoelectric motors and motion systems with unmatched miniaturization, micrometer-scale resolution, fully-integrated microelectronics and intelligent firmware. The company both licenses this technology and applies it in custom development projects for original equipment manufacturers in consumer imaging, security, medical, scientific and other markets.

About New Scale Technologies

New Scale Technologies develops small, precise and smart motion systems for critical adjustments of optics in imaging devices and many other micro positioning applications. Our simple and elegant solutions deliver best-in-class performance in consumer imaging, biometric authentication, aerospace and defense, medical devices, scientific instruments, haptic systems and many other markets. We design and manufacture custom products and license our technology to manufacturers worldwide. Our customers benefit from complete motion solutions that are tailored to their unique requirements and easily integrated into their next-generation instruments.

SQUIGGLE is a registered trademark, and New Scale Pathway and UTAF are trademarks of New Scale Technologies, Inc.

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