Renesas Electronics Releases Advanced-Functionality Driver IC Supporting Sophisticated Optical Image Stabilization and Autofocus Functions for Smartphone Cameras

Tailored Firmware, Development Tools, and Manuals Reduce the Development Workload

25 Nov 2015

TOKYO, Japan, November 25, 2015 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of the RAA305315GBM, an advanced-functionality optical image stabilizer (OIS) driver IC that realizes highly precise and wide-range positioning for advanced smartphone cameras.

As the pixel density and performance of smartphone cameras has greatly improved in recent years, consumers have come to expect to have the same functionality and performance as standalone digital cameras. The ability to capture high-definition, high-quality still photos and video is a key requirement for today’s consumer. As a result, conventional electronic image stabilization functions are no longer adequate to meet demand for high picture quality in mobile devices. Electronic image stabilization is being used alongside optical image stabilization, and their uses can be divided among different types of tasks.

To meet these evolving requirements, Renesas has developed a power-efficient OIS driver IC that incorporates the company’s deep expertise in optical image stabilization technology and integrates a CPU, a DSP, and peripheral parts on a single chip to enhance performance. In addition, Renesas is providing a comprehensive development environment, including firmware, development tools, evaluation boards, and manuals, to help system manufacturers meet their development requirements and accelerate the implementation of advanced optical image stabilization functionality into mobile platforms.

Key features of the new OIS driver IC:

(1) 32-bit CPU, DSP, and flash memory, enabling advanced three-servo control

The high-performance 32-bit CPU and DSP is suitable for servo control processing support for three-servo control. This makes it possible to drive different types of actuators, including voice coil motors (VCM) (Note 1), piezoelectric elements (Note 2), and shape-memory alloy (SMA) (Note 3) actuators. This single-chip device also supports multiple autofocus functions. In addition to open loop (Note 4) autofocus, the newer bidirectional (Note 5) and closed loop (Note 6) autofocus types are supported, enabling more compact camera modules for slimmer smartphone form factors.

 

(2) Firmware and development tools matched to customer requirements, helping to reduce the development workload and shorten the time needed

Development tools and environments matched to manufacturer requirements are available. Renesas also offers evaluation boards (available separately) that can be used to start evaluation work right away, helping to reduce the development workload and shorten the time required.

  • Development of control firmware by the manufacturer
    Resources such as sample source code and manuals are available to help manufacturers develop control firmware in a short amount of time.
  • Customization by the manufacturer of reference control firmware provided by Renesas
    Reference firmware and application notes are available, along with development tools and manuals that manufacturers can use to customize the firmware quickly.
  • Standard control firmware provided by Renesas, without modification, for customer use
    Resources such as application notes and tool usage manuals are available for manufacturers to use the standard control firmware.This makes it possible to implement optical image stabilization at an early stage.

 

(3) Parameters for adjusting individual differences to reduce the burden imposed by performance inconsistency among individual camera modules during mass production

With over 80 million OIS driver ICs shipped, Renesas provides the ability to adjust individual parameters, which can be used to automatically compensate performance inconsistency among individual camera modules during mass production. By storing the parameters in the on-chip flash memory of the IC, it is possible to compensate for performance inconsistency among individual devices without the need to reprogram (overwrite) the firmware, decreasing the workload during mass production.

 

(4) Support for a variety of OIS methods, including lens shift, lens tilt, and module tilt
Renesas provides flexible support for lens shift (Note 7), lens tilt (Note 8), and module tilt (Note 9) optical image stabilization by reprogramming (overwriting) the firmware in the flash memory.

 

Pricing and Availability

Samples of the RAA305315GBM OIS driver IC are available now, priced at US$10.00 per unit. Mass production is scheduled to begin in July 2016 and expected to reach a scale of 1,000,000 units per month by July 2017.

 

Refer to the separate sheet (PDF: 44 KB) for main specifications of the RAA305315GBM OIS driver IC.

(Note 1) Voice coil motor (VCM): A type of actuator with a mechanism similar to that of a speaker coil.

(Note 2) Piezoelectric element: A type of actuator that moves when voltage is applied due to the piezoelectric effect.

(Note 3) Shape-memory alloy (SMA) actuator: A type of actuator that utilizes an alloy that can be deformed when below its transition temperature but that returns to its original shape when heated to above the transition temperature.

(Note 4) Open loop autofocus: an AF method for driving a focus lens only in one direction. As the driving structure becomes simplified it is a cost advantage.

(Note 5) Bidirectional autofocus: an AF method of driving the focusing lens from an intermediate position in the drive range. A dominant method to focus control of the low power consumption drive.

(Note 6) Closed loop autofocus: an AF method for position detection of the focusing lens in the Hall sensor. A dominant method for high-precision focusing control at high speed.

(Note 7) Lens shift OIS: An optical image stabilization method in which the lens is shifted mechanically within the camera module. This method is suited to more compact, thinner modules.

(Note 8) Lens tilt OIS: An optical image stabilization method in which control is applied by tilting the lens mechanically within the camera module. This method is suited to more compact, thinner modules.

(Note 9) Module tilt OIS: An optical image stabilization method in which control is applied by tilting the entire camera module mechanically. Since it introduces no optical distortion (distortion or the like caused by lens movement), this method is suited to cases where the priority is higher picture quality and wider lens angle.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live. A global leader in microcontrollers, analog, power, and SoC products, Renesas provides comprehensive solutions for a broad range of automotive, industrial, home electronics, office automation, and information communication technology applications that help shape a limitless future. Learn more at renesas.com.

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The content in the press release, including, but not limited to, product prices and specifications, is based on the information as of the date indicated on the document, but may be subject to change without prior notice.