Microtech2010 2010

MEMS-Based Photonic Systems: Hardware Synergy for Maximized User Benefits (invited)

H. Gruger, M. Scholles, H. Schenk
Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems, DE

Keywords: MEMS based photonic systems


MEMS based photonic systems are now entering mobile application for high volume products. The host device typically offers a wide variety of hardware components: Computation unit and memory, control and input/output features, sensors from simple temperature detection up to multi million pixel CMOS opto sensors. Quality and life time issues differ depending on the application as well as the operation conditions, nevertheless all high volume applications claim to be cost sensitive, no matter whether the photonic system is a projector for a mobile phone or a head up display for a luxury class car. Anyway, the starting point for development is always the need of a new or extended property of the host system. For volume production this has to be realized cost efficient, which in turn means a less additional hardware as possible. Intelligent system design – applying hardware synergy to maximize the user benefit – could either result in reduced effort or in added value which could justify additional effort. An example from IPMS long term experience in photonic system invention is the MEMS scanner mirror based laser projector for mobile devices. The device operates fine, but it became clear that hand held operation may be difficult as any shiver or shaking affects the image quality. Solving the problem can be easy as many handheld devices already bear a inertial measurement unit which is used for navigation aid, free fall recognition or camera control. Putting the already integrated hardware and the new components together, a tilt compensated projection system can be realized just though software implementation. Furthermore in a second step the movement can be used actively to control the system, e.g. as input device to play games on the mobile. Details of this example and further intelligent photonic systems, e.g. based on spectroscopic devices, will be presented and discussed.
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