For Cell Phone Camera LensesVICTOR, N.Y., April 21 -- New Scale Technologies Inc., a Victor, N.Y.-based maker of miniature ceramic motors, announced it has created a Mobacam Division to make tiny piezoelectric motors that use optics to achieve auto focus and optical zoom in mobile phone cameras.
"The race to improve phone camera image quality is creating a new market for one billion miniature motors," said David Henderson, president of New Scale. He said the company's Squiggle motor technology is especially suited for that application.
A tiny Squiggle motor is shown next to a phone camera lens. The piezo motor uses ultrasonic vibrations in a threaded nut to directly rotate a mating screw, producing precise linear motion. (Dimensions: 4 mm diamter, 10 mm length, 4 mm stroke) It offers submicrometer resolution, up to 10 mm/s speed, 1 N force and an optional position sensor.
According to Future Image's 2005 Mobile Imagine Report, most of the more than 300 million phone cameras produced in 2005 will use fixed optics. By 2007, more than 500 million phone cameras will be manufactured, and most will have auto focus and optical zoom, according to the report. These phone cameras require new motor technology because conventional motors are too large and use too much power.
"Today's digital cameras use conventional electromagnetic motors with iron, copper and magnets," Henderson said. "But electromagnetic motors have reached their limits in terms of miniaturization. Phone camera designers need motors four times smaller than conventional motor technology can deliver."
By contrast, piezoelectric ceramic motors are easily miniaturized to phone camera dimensions, he said. The company's Squiggle motors use ultrasonic vibrations to produce precise bidirectional linear movement.
Henderson said the Mobacam Division is seeking partners and investors. A reference camera design under development includes position sensors and single-chip ASIC drive and control electronics, and the company is working with several semiconductor suppliers to create ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) solutions. Sample Squiggle motors are available, and high-volume production can begin six months after order placement, with high-volume pricing of a few dollars per motor, he said.
New Scale will exhibit at OptiFab (booth 709), May 2-5 in Rochester, N.Y., and at CLEO (booth 1620), May 24-26 in Baltimore, Md.
For more information, visit: www.newscaletech.com; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Scale Technologies Inc.
10 East Main St.
Victor, NY 14564
Phone: (585) 924-4450
Fax: (585) 924-4468