Thursday, May 23, 2024

Smartphone Camera Maker LG Innotek Adds Optical Telephoto Zoom

LG Innotek has announced that its ‘Optical Telephoto Zoom Camera Module’ for smartphones will be revealed for the first time at CES 2023.

The optical telephoto zoom camera module is a micro-component developed for the smartphone by integrating the telescopic camera functions that were mostly applied to the professional cameras such as the DSLR or mirrorless camera. It is mounted on the rear side of the smartphone to enable the image and video to be taken without image quality degradation even when zooming from long distance.

By applying LG Innotek’s ‘optical telephoto zoom camera module’ to the smartphone, optical zoom filming is possible in the high-magnification of 4x to 9x range. There are two main types of zooming, optical and digital. Unlike the digital zoom that simply magnifies the size of the image to have serious quality degradation, optical zoom camera moves the lens directly to zoom the subject, which has advantage of maintaining the high image quality.

The main advantage of this product is that optical zoom camera filming is possible in all magnifications freely in the 4x to 9x range with one module.

In contrast, existing ‘fixed zoom modules’ enable optical zoom camera filming only in the specific magnification, and digital zoom is applied to other magnification sections. For example, both the 4-times and 9-times fixed zoom modules must be mounted for filming in high-definition in the two magnifications of 4 times and 9 times.

For the smartphone manufacturers, less modules will result in providing more space inside the phone, and in enhancing the battery efficiency.

LG Innotek has also developed the zoom actuator (a component for moving the lens to change the focal distance or to set to clean focus) to realise clear and clean image quality in all sections between 4x to 9x magnification.

The zoom actuator is a key component of the camera module that has definitive impact to the image quality. To obtain the high-definition filming material, the zoom actuator must move the lens quickly and accurately to set the focus. Especially, the ‘Optical Telephoto Zoom Camera Module’ has long lens moving distance (length of the lens moving section), so controlling the moving distance accurately is very important.

The zoom actuator developed by LG Innotek not only provides accuracy compared to the existing component, but also high moving speed and durability with less battery consumption. LG Innotek’s zoom actuator is also added with the control technology of moving the lens precisely in micrometer (㎛, 1m per 1 million) unit.

Moreover, the OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) applied with the new design method reduces the blur phenomenon from shaking, and increases the definition. As the zoom camera can show the shaking more clearly, OIS is considered a key function.

In addition, the module thickness was minimised to remove the ‘camera bump’ in smartphone design. In the general optical zoom module, the focal distance is longer in the higher magnification to result in thicker module, and to solve this problem, LG Innotek redesigned the lens and module structure.

LG Innotek and Qualcomm Technologies are working closely to optimise software for optical continuous zoom that will be applied to Qualcomm’s new premium Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform. It will enhance the image tuning custom for the optics, which includes Auto-Focus, Auto-Exposure, Auto-White Balance, lens shading correction and much more. Users will be able to focus quickly. And the photos and videos will have high image quality.

Starting with the release of products at CES 2023, LG Innotek and Qualcomm Technologies plan to speed up joint promotions for global smartphone manufacturers.

According to LG Innotek CEO, Jeong Cheol-dong, “Smartphone cameras will be evolved into the direction of enhancing the performance of optical zoom centrally on the premium smartphones. As the global leading smartphone camera module company, LG Innotek will be one step ahead in introducing innovative products that provide pleasant experience and good impression to the customers, and innovation will be provided continuously for customer value.”


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