Pertnership targets chip-level optical image stabilization

August 22, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Chip-level optical image stabilization tie-up targets new applications
CMOS imaging sensor supplier SmartSens and MEMS actuator maker MEMS Drive (Pasadena, CA) are partnering on a series of research projects in the fields of CMOS image sensing chip and chip-level optical image stabilization (OIS) technologies to open up new areas of applications.

In addition to its conventional application in mobile cameras, say the companies, image stabilization is equally important for applications such as security monitoring, AI machine vision, and autonomous vehicles. For example, CMOS image sensors need to be able to respond to factors such as uneven roads and air turbulence that could result in blurred images, requiring that the image sensor itself possess exceptional stabilization capabilities in order to increase efficiency in both the identification as well as the overall AI system.

Through the collaboration, SmartSens will now introduces chip-level anti-vibration technology - optical image stabilization technology that has previously only been available in high-end DSLR cameras - directly into CMOS image sensors made available for non-mobile applications, such as security and machine vision. In comparison to conventional OIS technology, says the company, sensors with chip-level stabilization offer higher simplicity in engineering, without losing any of the robust capabilities unique to OIS in traditional voice coil motors (VCMs).

Additionally, the sensors will feature added stabilization control to the rotation of the sensor, achieving optimal stabilization with five axes. For applications in AI-enabled systems, which often require high dynamic range (HDR) imaging, high frame rate video capture, or sensing in ultra-low-light conditions, SmartSens says it will be able to provide "the perfect solution in the form of unparalleled, efficient stabilization."

"Optical image stabilizing technology is one of the hottest areas of research and development in the fields of DSLR and mobile cameras, and is unprecedented in non-mobile applications such as AI video capturing," says SmartSens CMO Chris Yiu. "SmartSens' collaboration with MEMS Drive in the area of non-mobile image stabilization opens up new possibilities in this field. SmartSens and MEMS Drive are both companies that rely on innovation to drive growth, and we are very pleased to use this partnership to bring forth further innovation in the field of image sensing technology."

MEMS Drive CEO Colin Kwan adds, "Since its founding, MEMS

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