Samsung Electro-Mechanics has developed an ultra-slim optical 5x zoom camera module. The company announced on May 20 that it will mass-produce the new camera module, which establishes 5x zoom at a lower height than the conventional optical 2x zoom, from this month.
Optical zoom allows a user to zoom in on a distant object and take a picture by moving the lenses in the camera module. The larger the distance between the image sensor and the lenses, the higher the magnification of optical zoom. However, the optical 5x zoom requires a 2.5x longer focal length than the optical 2x zoom. In order to establish high magnification optical zoom, the height of the camera module has to be increased, causing protrusion of the rear camera.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics has established high-magnification optical zoom without increasing the height by using the periscope structure instead of the conventional method of stacking sensors and lenses vertically. By refracting the incoming light at right angles and placing sensors and lenses in the horizontal orientation, the developers lowered the height of the 2x optical zoom camera module, while securing 2.5x longer focal length. In addition, the developers changed the shape of lens, which is usually circular, in the camera module to further reduce the height.
As a result, the company succeeded in developing a 5 mm 5x optical zoom camera module, which is superior to typical mid-6 mm 2x optical zoom.
"This product can solve the problem of camera protrusion, which is a big disadvantage of the high-resolution, high-magnification optical zoom smartphone camera," said Cho Jung-kyun, head of Samsung Electro-Mechanics camera module team.
Since 2003, Samsung Electro-Mechanics has entered the camera module market by developing the world's first optical image stabilizer (OIS) dual camera module and variable aperture camera module after. Based on the technology accumulated in the mobile devices, the company plans to expand business with global automakers with differentiated camera modules for vehicles.