Renesas Electronics Introduces New Optical Image Stabilizer Driver IC for Smartphones and Tablet PC Cameras

  Renesas Electronics Introduces New Optical Image Stabilizer Driver IC for
  Smartphones and Tablet PC Cameras

Realizes High-Performance Image Stabilization Comparable to Single-Lens Reflex
                 Cameras and High-End Compact Digital Cameras

Business Wire

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- July 18, 2013

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced
semiconductor solutions, today announced the development of the RAA305170GBM,
an optical image stabilizer (OIS) control driver IC for use in camera-equipped
mobile phones and tablet PCs. The RAA305170GBM is the first OIS driver IC
available [Note 1] with three systems of sensor/driver circuits for
smartphones, raising the performance of functions such as Image Stabilization
AF [Note 2].

With the RAA305170GBM, product developers can bring high performance on par
with that of standalone digital cameras to the smartphones or tablet PC camera
modules. This level of performance allows smartphones and PCs to meet general
consumer demand for camera functionality that enables them to capture
high-quality video and still photos without ever missing a good shot, while
uploading these videos and still photos to the web immediately without any
need for image processing.

In recent years the demand for smartphones has grown rapidly within the mobile
phone market, with matching increases both in the number of mobile Internet
users and in the variety of applications and content. In addition, as the
proportion of video among the images posted on the Internet has grown,
consumers have come to demand higher pixel counts and more advanced
functionality in their smartphone and tablet PC cameras. This has led to a
growing demand in smartphone products market for image stabilization
functionality.

Smartphones and tablet cameras need optical image stabilization function
because they are susceptible to blurry images caused by shaking. Although
low-cost electronic image stabilizers are widely used in smartphone cameras,
the stabilization functionality tends to become less adequate as the camera
resolution increases. Digital cameras can prevent blurry images caused by
shaking through complementary functions such as diaphragm and high-speed
shutter. Smartphone cameras, on the other hand, have limited space and they
require alternate measure.

The image stabilization technology addresses these quality concerns by
aligning the lens with the shaking of the camera, leveraging the technology
developed by Renesas, used in compact digital cameras. The technological
innovations accumulated in this way are incorporated into this new OIS driver
IC, which is capable of three voice coil monitor (VCM) drivers [Note 3], as
the first product with this capacity for the smartphone and tablet market.

Key Features of the RAA305170GBM:

(1) The first OIS driver IC available with three systems of sensor/driver
circuits for smart phones, raising the performance of functions such as Image
Stabilization AF
Three systems of sensor / driver circuits can independently control three VCM
actuators and the corresponding to closed loop control of AF, contributing to
high performance of OIS and high-speed AF control.

(2) RL78 CPU core with servo control DSP for high-performance image
stabilization using parallel processing
Processing is divided between the RL78, which detects and processes data on
lens position gap, and the DSP, which drives the image stabilization lens.
This enables excellent image stabilization performance with low power
operation by a low clock frequency and with high-speed servo response by the
servo control DSP.

(3) Support for actuator noise reduction and thermal drift [Note 4]
compensation
The on-chip DSP makes it possible with digital filters to reduce audible
noises from actuator operation and to decrease gyro sensor output drift due to
temperature variations. In addition, a variety of actuator types can be
accommodated, enabling support for stabilization methods such as module tilt
[Note 5], lens tilt [Note 6], and lens shift [Note 7].

(4) On-chip flash memory for rapid camera startup so no photo opportunities
are missed
The on-chip nonvolatile flash memory eliminates the need to download firmware
from an external device. As a result, the CPU startup time following power-on
is reduced from the 40 milliseconds (msec.) with previous Renesas products
with no flash memory to only 0.7 msec. for the RAA305170GBM. This means that
all opportunities for a good shot will never be missed.

By storing the control firmware and data in flash memory, changes to the
product specifications or control parameters can be accommodated through
firmware updates and can be updated after the product has entered mass
production. It is also possible to store data such as model-specific actuator
trimming values [Note 8] in the flash memory, and access this data very
efficiently.

Renesas plans to actively promote sales and introduce new products in this
market and targets to achieve a 50% market share in this product category by
2015.

Please refer to the following URL for the main specifications of the
RAA305170GBM: http://www.renesas.com/products/assp/ois/index.jsp

Pricing and Availability
Samples of the RAA305170GBM are available now, priced at US$10.0 per unit.
Mass production of the RAA305170GBM is expected to reach a scale of 10,000,000
units per month in March 2014. (Pricing and availability are subject to change
without notice.)

Notes
[Note 1] The first OIS driver IC in the world: researched by Renesas as of
July 11, 2013
[Note 2] AF: “Auto focus,” a function that focuses the camera automatically.
[Note 3] VCM: “Voice coil motor,” a type of linear actuator.
[Note 4] Thermal drift: A phenomenon in which the zero point (the reference
position) of the sensor varies when the ambient temperature changes.
[Note 5] Module tilt: An image stabilization method involving control of the
entire camera module. It provides excellent performance, but module thickness
is a concern.
[Note 6] Lens tilt: Except for a dedicated lens, the entire module is fixed.
Stabilization is achieved by tilting the lens only.
[Note 7] Lens shift: An image stabilization method in which the lenses inside
the module are shifted mechanically. This contributes to reduced module
thickness.
[Note 8] Trimming values: Adjustment values that are needed to compensate for
variations in the characteristics of individual actuator units or differences
due to the housings in which they are mounted.

(Remarks)
Names of products or services mentioned in this press release are trademarks
or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

About Renesas Electronics America Inc.
Renesas Electronics America Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is
a wholly owned subsidiary of Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the
world's number one supplier of microcontrollers and a premier supplier of
advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions,
and a broad range of analog and power devices. In the Americas, Renesas
Electronics America markets and sells industrial-type active-matrix LCD
modules from NLT Technologies, Ltd., a global leader in innovative display
technologies. More information about the products offered by Renesas
Electronics America can be found at http://am.renesas.com/.

Contact:

Voce Communications, a Porter Novelli Company
Jessica Kerr, 415-975-2213
jessica.kerr@porternovelli.com