Tune your world view through poLight® technology

While Voice Coil Motor (VCM) is widely used in today’s camera modules, the poLight® TLens technology out-competes most traditional VCM features, and a migration from VCM technology to the new poLight® technology is foreseen for smartphones, wearables, consumer devices as well as for demanding industrial or medical applications. The fundamental structure of the TLens® is very different from the VCM technology: Whereas the VCM technology has to move the complete lens barrel to create focus, the TLens® does not require the lens barrel to move but only gets attached to it opto-mechanically, then creates the focusing lens effect to tune the optical characteristics of the combined lens stack.

TLens®’s unique features

The TLens® (Tunable Lens) doesn’t just replace traditional VCM technology for autofocus. Instead it enables a range of entirely new experiences, use cases, and ways to build innovation and help you differentiate. TLens®’s unique features include:

  • Instant focus – TLens® provides instant focus just like the “human eye”, up to 10 times faster than competing technologies which enables recording of several images almost simultaneously, then to be combined into one, all-in-focus image. This unique feature may be used in world-facing cameras, as well as in front-facing cameras.
  • Constant field of view – provides smooth and accurate focusing as the image or video is recorded. Unlike with VCM, the pumping effect is not visible as focus changes. Constant field of view significantly reduces the complexity of image stitching and bracketing algorithms, which is relevant for both single and multi-camera systems.
  • High optical axis stability – eliminates which complex calibration procedures required by VCM and is not affected by gravity, thermal and mechanical shocks. TLens® performance remains stable over its lifetime, making the camera manufacturing process less complex, and delivering higher image quality. This capability uniquely enables simplified image stitching and bracketing software for both single and multi-camera applications.
  • Extremely low power consumption – is an important requirement for all battery powered devices. TLens®’ low power consumption also means that, unlike with VCM, the image sensor’s temperature will remain stable when focusing, improving image quality.
  • More efficient AF camera module manufacturing – as the TLens® can be easily integrated into camera modules for efficient manufacturing, it results in improved yield and more cost-effective processes at the camera module assembly level. The TLens® minimizes dust contamination, whereas VCM exposes access to the image sensor.
  • Easy integration of camera into devices – as the small footprint enables TLens®-based cameras to fit more easily into the device. The TLens® is designed without coils or springs, so it also eliminates magnetic interference issues during camera assembly. The Test and Calibration procedures can be minimized due to no moving parts, high optical stability, and repeatability, etc.

Below table summarizes the typical characteristics of the two technologies side-by-side which evidently shows the superiority of TLens® over VCM technology.

Assuming 32MP 1/2.8″ AF Camera Module TLens® VCM
Power consumption <6 mW >180 mW
Response time 1 ms 8 - 10 ms
Image change size while focus <1 µm 117 µm
Field of view Constant (No AF pumping) Changes (AF pumping)
Smallest Footprint (typical 1/2.8" sensor) <8×8 mm >10×10 mm
Magnetic Interference No Yes
Gravity Impact No Yes