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A*STAR IME pushes MEMS scanning mirror for smartphones

Posted: 17 Jul 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS scanning mirror? smartphone? pico-projector?

A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and OPUS Microsystems Corp., a Taiwan-based company focused in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) scanning mirror devices, have entered a deal to develop a MEMS scanning mirror for smartphones applications.

With consumers using smartphones as a mobile entertainment centre, the ability to project photos and videos on any surface may soon become the norm. According to them, the initiative would enable phones to project photos and videos on any surface, and with no constrains on the viewing screen size on the mobile devices.

An illustration using laser beam steering projection

Figure 1: RGB lasers are lined up parallel to one another and combined into a single spot. Laser power controlled individually to mix color at pixel by pixel level. MEMS scans laser spot to form image.

This project, which signifies OPUS Microsystems' first research partnership and project in Singapore, will build on Rime's extensive experience and knowledge in the field of MEMS. IME will lead the process design and development while OPUS Microsystems will contribute in the design of the scanning mirror.

MEMS scanning mirror, or micromirror technology, used in light-modulating devices, has undergone rapid technological progress over the years. This has led to the high video and image quality observed in high-definition TVs and more recently, digital cinemas. The market demand for such visual experience expresses itself in portable consumer electronics such as tablets and mobile phones, in which gaming, photo and video applications have become integral. This technology is expected to be heavily incorporated into the next generation of smartphones.

To meet this demand, the two parties will work together on the development of an optimised MEMS scanning mirror which will enable a pico-projector for smartphones applications. Through the project, the two parties aim to achieve a slimmer and smaller MEMS micromirror with high performance offering a compact yet high-resolution pico-projector solution for smartphones. This would ultimately turn any surface into a display.

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