February 23, 2012 — STMicroelectronics (STM) is implementing shape memory alloys (SMA) in its optical image stabilization (OIS) motion sensor designs. Actuators made of SMAs contract upon heating.
OIS uses feedback from motion sensors embedded in the mobile device to control the mechanical actuator that compensates for slight movements of the user’s hand, resulting in sharper images even in low-light conditions.
Small size and low power requirements allow SMA "smart materials" to be used in actuators that are dramatically more compact, lighter, more powerful and quiet, ST reports. The technology is an alternative to voice coil motors (VCMs) and piezoelectric elements.
See STMicroelectronics at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 27 – March 1, 2012 at its booth (Hall 7, 7C18).