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TLens® for Dual/Multi Camera implementation

What can the poLight technology bring to a multi camera device? The poLight technology and the first product launched, the TLens® Silver, is based on a polymer lens that can be tuned by a piezo element. The TLens® Silver provide extremely quick Focus functionality without the drawbacks of the VCM technology and the traditional VCM modules can simply be removed. The TLens® technology provides a range of capabilities such as extremely quick Auto Focus but also some unique capabilities in a multi-camera implementation:

  • Constant field of view (FoV). This simplifies image alignment, stitching, bracketing in a multi-image/multi camera use-case, i.e. several images are stitched into one with e.g. all objects in focus (All in Focus). This removed the traditional pumping (image size variation when focusing) effect that all VCMs show (which make image and video not nice to watch, could generate seasickness while focusing) and minimize the processing power needed for image combination etc.
     
  • Low power consumption. This capability is key since the consumers are using the camera more and more. The TLens® Silver has a power consumption less than 5mW, a magnitude less than VCMs. This is especially important in a multi camera implementation where energy efficiency will be critical. Two TLenses will consume less than 10mW while two VCM modules easily consume up to 400mW or more!
     
  • No magnetic interference. Since the TLens® Silver has no coils or springs, the magnetic interference is negligible and two cameras Auto Focus cameras can be close to each other without interference. This provides an enormous design freedom for the OEMs and interference with other coils and RF parts can be minimized.
     
  • Stable optical axis. The TLens® technology provide superior image quality since the optical axis will not be changed by a changing focus, gravity (orientation of the phone) or any shock generate by unfortunate but highly probable drop during the live time of the phone. This is unique for the TLens® technology and cannot be replicated by traditional VCMs.
     
  • Low “real estate”. The TLens® technology is extremely compact and will not increase the width of the optical package since no coils/motors will be placed around the lens stack. This means that the actual size of the camera modules can become smaller with the exception of some tenths of mm addition in height (since the TLens® will be on top of the lens package) if the TLens® is added on the top of a fixed camera. The height increase may be removed if the TLens® is fully integrated into the CM. The typical footprint of two TLens® equipped camera modules will be half of two camera modules with VCMs.
     
  • Simplified testing and calibration. Dual cameras has to be calibrated and this cannot be performed well with VCM cameras since the parameters are changing. However, a dual camera solution with the TLens® will be easy to calibrate and optimize.
     

The listed unique capabilities are not only applicable for dual camera cases but several of them removes the main drawbacks with dual camera technologies and allow OEMs to fully utilize the advantages. The two main drawbacks with dual or multiple camera configurations can be eliminated by use of the TLens® by:

  • The image quality problem can be removed by the Constant FoV, the stable optical axis as well as the elimination of the magnetic interference and as well as the influence of the gravity.
     
  • The power consumption problem can be removed by the intrinsic low power consumption of the TLens® as well as the reduction of processing power needed due to constant FoV and stable optical axis.