Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tessera CEO on MEMS AF Bright Future

Business Wire: Tessera CEO and President Robert A. Young sent a letter to shareholders talking about bright future of its Digital Optics division (DOC):

"Growth Opportunity: Digital Optics

It may surprise those who have tracked the success of our Micro-electronics business to learn that our largest growth opportunity today is in our Digital Optics business (formerly known as Imaging & Optics).

The most bulky component in today’s mobile phones is the camera module. Some of today’s Android phones even feature a “bump” made necessary by the nearly obsolete technology now found in all mobile phone camera modules, built around magnetic coil technology that is over 100 years old and has reached its effective limits of miniaturization.

We will introduce camera modules based on silicon rather than magnetic coils to move the lenses for focusing and zoom. This breakthrough MEMS technology is disruptive because it obsoletes the magnetic coils in use today by enabling cameras that are thinner, much faster, have more accurate lens positioning, and use far less battery power. When combined with the other software and technologies that we have already have developed and marketed, it means better quality images and video from miniature mobile phone cameras. Our technologies will enable mobile phone cameras to perform as well as standalone digital still cameras and to compete with video cameras on quality. We are discussing our offerings with Tier One OEM manufacturers of wireless handsets, and expect to ship our game-changing products in late 2012.

Milestones Ahead

In short, we have positioned our Digital Optics business with the right technologies and people to exploit a large and growing market that has yet to see the kind of transformative innovation that’s been common in other consumer electronics businesses.

The major milestones that you can expect this coming year:

  • First half of 2012: We will sign our first design win for the use of our transformational MEMS optical imaging technology in a new cell phone.
  • Second half of 2012: We will announce major steps toward high-volume manufacturing of devices using this MEMS technology."


  1. Tessera is poLight customer?

  2. I read the exact same letter from LensVector last year.

  3. How are they planning to get a design win before they have volume manufacture? That would be quite an achievement!

  4. poLight appears to be using a piezo-electric method to flex a lens for auto-focus. (see here

    Tessera MEMS appears to mechanically move the entire lens, although detail is lacking.

    Both sound very interesting, but will they really be adopted while alternative technologies are in production in mass volumes (much cheaper)


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