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Title:
ELECTRO-MECHANICAL ARRANGEMENT FOR OPTICAL ZOOM CAMERA
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/148139
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An electro-mechanical arrangement (1) for an optical zoom camera module (2) having a first optical axis (A1), the electro-mechanical arrangement (1) comprising a first hardware unit (5), a second hardware unit (6), a third hardware unit (7), and a fourth hardware unit (4). A first flexible electrical interface (8) interconnects the first hardware unit (5) and the second hardware unit (6), a second flexible electrical interface (9) interconnects the second hardware unit (6) and the third hardware unit (7), and a third flexible electrical interface (10) interconnects the third hardware unit (7) and the fourth hardware unit (4). The hardware units (5, 6, 7, 4) and the flexible electrical interfaces (8, 9, 10) are arranged in a plane comprising the first optical axis (A1). Such an arrangement facilitates all-in-one system hardware combinations which have a balanced total system design achieving compact size, good operational characteristics, and productional capabilities.

Inventors:
EROMAKI MARKO (SE)
TUULOS EERO (SE)
JUHOLA MIKKO (SE)
QIAN KANG (SE)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2020/051805
Publication Date:
July 29, 2021
Filing Date:
January 24, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HUAWEI TECH CO LTD (CN)
EROMAKI MARKO (FI)
International Classes:
H04N5/225; H04M1/02; H04N5/232
Domestic Patent References:
WO2018035943A12018-03-01
Foreign References:
US20180070805A12018-03-15
EP2124434A12009-11-25
CN110049153A2019-07-23
US20130229566A12013-09-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KREUZ, Georg (DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An electro-mechanical arrangement (1) for an optical zoom camera module (2) having a first optical axis (Al), said electro-mechanical arrangement (1) comprising: a first hardware unit (5), a second hardware unit (6), a third hardware unit (7), and a fourth hardware unit (4), a first flexible electrical interface (8) interconnecting said first hardware unit (5) and said second hardware unit (6), a second flexible electrical interface (9) interconnecting said second hardware unit (6) and said third hardware unit (7), and a third flexible electrical interface (10) interconnecting said third hardware unit (7) and said fourth hardware unit (4), said hardware units (5, 6, 7, 4) and said flexible electrical interfaces (8, 9, 10) being arranged in a plane comprising said first optical axis (Al).

2. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to claim 1, wherein said first hardware unit (5) comprises at least a printed wiring board and an image sensor, said second hardware unit (6) comprises at least a printed wiring board, said third hardware unit (7) comprises at least a printed wiring board, and/or said fourth hardware unit (4) comprises at least a printed wiring board and electrical connections (3) to said optical zoom camera module (2).

3. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said second hardware unit (6) comprises a primary second hardware sub-unit (6a) and a secondary second hardware sub-unit (6b), said primary second hardware sub-unit (6a) and said secondary second hardware sub-unit (6b) being interconnected by a fourth flexible electrical interface (11).

4. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein said hardware units (5, 6, 7, 4), and optionally said primary second hardware sub unit (6a) and said secondary second hardware sub-unit (6b), are arranged such that they do not overlap each other or said first optical axis (Al), in said plane comprising said first optical axis (Al).

5. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein said second hardware unit (6) comprises a first flexible electrical interface connector (13) to a handset, external host control, and/or a power supply for at least one actuator (16) of said optical zoom camera module (2).

6. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to claim 5, wherein said second hardware unit (6) comprises a second flexible electrical interface connector (14) to a handset, external host control, and/or a power supply for at least one actuator (16) of said optical zoom camera module (2).

7. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein said third hardware unit (7) comprises at least one LED flash (12).

8. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein said third hardware unit (7) comprises an actuator driver element, said actuator driver element being adapted for connecting to at least one actuator (16) of said optical zoom camera module (2).

9. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to claim 8, wherein said actuator driver element is in a non-contacting arrangement against said optical zoom camera module (2).

10. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein said second hardware unit (6) comprises at least one actuator interconnection (17), said actuator interconnection (17) being adapted for connecting said driver element to at least one actuator (16) of said optical zoom camera module (2).

11. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to claim 10, wherein said actuator interconnection (17) comprises electroplated through holes.

12. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein said third hardware unit (7) comprises a support element (21) adapted for maintaining a form factor of said actuator driver element.

13. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein said fourth hardware unit (4) comprises optical image stabilization.

14. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein said second hardware unit (6) comprises at least one thermal sensor (15) adapted for sensing thermal conditions of said optical zoom camera module (2).

15. The electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to claim 14, wherein said thermal sensor (15) is in direct contact with said optical zoom camera module (2) or connected to said optical zoom camera module (2) by means of a thermally conductive extension arm (18).

16. An opto-mechanical system (19) for an electronic device (20), said opto-mechanical system comprising an optical zoom camera module (2), having a first optical axis (Al), at least one optical element, and at least one actuator (16) interacting with said optical element, and the electro-mechanical arrangement (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 15.

17. The opto-mechanical system (19) according to claim 16, wherein said optical zoom camera module (2) has a second optical axis (A2), said second optical axis (A2) extending at an angle (a) to said first optical axis (Al).

18. The opto-mechanical system (19) according to claim 16 or 17, wherein the third hardware unit (7) of said electro-mechanical arrangement (1) is interconnected with said actuator (16).

19. The opto-mechanical system (19) according to any one of claims 16 to 18, wherein said optical element is a fluid or solid element.

20. The opto-mechanical system (19) according to any one of claims 16 to 19, wherein said actuator (16) has an actuation axis (A3) extending in parallel with, or perpendicular, to said first optical axis (Al).

21. The opto-mechanical system (19) according to any one of claims 16 to 20, wherein said second hardware unit (6) comprises a thermal conduction arrangement (15) for conducting heat away from said optical zoom camera module (2).

22. The opto-mechanical system (19) according to any one of claims 16 to 21, wherein the second hardware unit (6) and the third hardware unit (7) of said electro-mechanical arrangement (1) and said actuator(s) (16) are arranged on one side of said optical zoom camera module (2).

23. An electronic device (20) comprising the opto-mechanical system (19) according to any one of claims 16 to 22.

Description:
ELECTRO-MECHANICAL ARRANGEMENT FOR OPTICAL ZOOM CAMERA

TECHNICAL FIELD

The disclosure relates to an electro-mechanical arrangement for an optical zoom camera module having a first optical axis.

BACKGROUND

Zoom camera solutions are used to differentiate between manufacturers of mobile electronic devices such as smart phones.

The computational solutions necessary for such solutions challenge currently preferred optical designs and multi-camera systems. When not accepting tradeoffs, true optical zooms are still preferred. However, the performance level of conventional optical zooms is limited in in terms of optical power in reaching 5-20 x magnifying factors for compact opto-mechanics sizes. Additionally, supportive electro-mechanics system design is needed in order to operate the camera, and combining, integrating, and partitioning all of these components has to be optimized in order to achieve high mechanical packaging density with low height.

Hence, in addition to successfully designing the optical lens(es), the camera module realization and system design has to be adapted such that a high performing optical zoom camera suited for mobile handset integration is achieved.

SUMMARY

It is an object to provide an improved electro-mechanical arrangement for an optical zoom camera module. The foregoing and other objects are achieved by the features of the independent claims. Further implementation forms are apparent from the dependent claims, the description, and the figures.

According to a first aspect, there is provided an electro-mechanical arrangement for an optical zoom camera module having a first optical axis, the electro-mechanical arrangement comprising a first hardware unit, a second hardware unit, a third hardware unit, and a fourth hardware unit, a first flexible electrical interface interconnecting the first hardware unit and the second hardware unit, a second flexible electrical interface interconnecting the second hardware unit and the third hardware unit, and a third flexible electrical interface interconnecting the third hardware unit and the fourth hardware unit, the hardware units and the flexible electrical interfaces being arranged in a plane comprising the first optical axis.

Such an arrangement facilitates all-in-one system hardware combinations which have a balanced total system design achieving compact size, good operational characteristics, and productional capabilities. The electro-mechanical architecture can be optimized to fit any within a range of optical zoom camera modules, while still being thin, i.e. having small dimensions in the z-direction, and high packaging density in the xy-plane.

In a possible implementation form of the first aspect, the first hardware unit comprises at least a printed wiring board and an image sensor, the second hardware unit comprises at least a printed wiring board, the third hardware unit comprises at least a printed wiring board, and/or the fourth hardware unit comprises at least a printed wiring board and electrical connections to the optical zoom camera module. By using single printed wiring boards, the form factor of the electro-mechanical arrangement can be reduced as much as possible.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the second hardware unit comprises a primary second hardware sub-unit and a secondary second hardware sub-unit, the primary second hardware sub-unit and the secondary second hardware sub-unit being interconnected by a fourth flexible electrical interface, allowing an increased number of components to be located on the second hardware unit, and/or some components to be arranged at a larger distance from the optical zoom camera module then others.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the hardware units, and optionally the primary second hardware sub-unit and the secondary second hardware sub-unit are arranged such that they do not overlap each other or the first optical axis, in the plane comprising the first optical axis. This allows the electro-mechanical arrangement to have an as small thickness as possible.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the second hardware unit comprises a first flexible electrical interface connector to a handset, external host control, and/or a power supply for at least one actuator of the optical zoom camera module, facilitating a plurality of functionalities.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the second hardware unit comprises a second flexible electrical interface connector to a handset, external host control, and/or a power supply for at least one actuator of the optical zoom camera module, facilitating a plurality of functionalities.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the third hardware unit comprises at least one LED flash, preferably to be used with the optical zoom camera module.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the third hardware unit comprises an actuator driver element, the actuator driver element being adapted for connecting to at least one actuator of the optical zoom camera module.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the actuator driver element is in a non-contacting arrangement against the optical zoom camera module, avoiding heat transfer from actuator to optical zoom camera module.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the second hardware unit comprises at least one actuator interconnection, the actuator interconnection being adapted for connecting the driver element to at least one actuator of the optical zoom camera module.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the actuator interconnection comprises electroplated through holes.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the third hardware unit comprises a support element adapted for maintaining a form factor of the actuator driver element.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the fourth hardware unit comprises optical image stabilization. In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the second hardware unit comprises at least one thermal sensor adapted for sensing thermal conditions of the optical zoom camera module.

In a further possible implementation form of the first aspect, the thermal sensor is in direct contact with the optical zoom camera module or connected to the optical zoom camera module by means of a thermally conductive extension arm. When applying direct contact, no additional components are necessary, and the coupling to the thermal sensor is simplified. By using extension arms, the thermal sensors can be placed at any suitable location within, or outside, the electro-mechanical arrangement.

According to a second aspect, there is provided an opto-mechanical system for an electronic device, the opto-mechanical system comprising an optical zoom camera module, having a first optical axis, at least one optical element, and at least one actuator interacting with the optical element, and the electro-mechanical arrangement according to the above.

This system facilitates all-in-one system hardware combinations which have a balanced total system design achieving compact size, good operational characteristics, and productional capabilities. The system can be optimized to fit any within a range of optical zoom camera modules, while still being thin, i.e. having small dimensions in the z-direction, and high packaging density in the xy-plane.

In a possible implementation form of the second aspect, the optical zoom camera module has a second optical axis, the second optical axis extending at an angle to the first optical axis, allowing a relatively shorter optical zoom camera module.

In a further possible implementation form of the second aspect, the third hardware unit of the electro-mechanical arrangement is interconnected with the actuator.

In a further possible implementation form of the second aspect, the optical element is a fluid or solid element. In a further possible implementation form of the second aspect, the actuator has an actuation axis extending in parallel with, or perpendicular, to the first optical axis. This allows the optical elements to be moved or deformed in any suitable way.

In a further possible implementation form of the second aspect, the second hardware unit comprises a thermal conduction arrangement for conducting heat away from the optical zoom camera module.

In a further possible implementation form of the second aspect, the second hardware unit and the third hardware unit of the electro-mechanical arrangement and the actuator(s) are arranged on one side of the optical zoom camera module, allowing heat to be conducted away from the actuators driving the optical elements, and hence, the optical elements.

According to a third aspect, there is provided an electronic device comprising the opto mechanical system according to the above.

This and other aspects will be apparent from and the embodiments described below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following detailed portion of the present disclosure, the aspects, embodiments and implementations will be explained in more detail with reference to the example embodiments shown in the drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 shows a schematic illustration of an electronic device in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 2 shows a schematic illustration of an opto-mechanical system in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

Figs. 3a and 3b show schematic illustrations of opto-mechanical systems in accordance with embodiments of the present invention, the opto-mechanical systems being identical except for differently oriented actuation axes; Figs. 4a and 4b show schematic illustrations of components of the second hardware unit of opto-mechanical systems in accordance with embodiments of the present invention;

Fig. 5 shows a schematic illustration of an opto-mechanical system in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 6 shows a schematic illustration of an opto-mechanical system in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Fig. 1 illustrates an electronic device 20 comprising an opto-mechanical system 19 which is described in more detail below.

Figs. 2, 3a, 3b, 5, and 6 show embodiments of such an opto-mechanical system 19. The opto mechanical system comprises an optical zoom camera module 2 and an electro-mechanical arrangement 1 described in more detail further below.

The optical zoom camera module 2 has a first optical axis Al. The optical zoom camera module 2 may also have a second optical axis A2 which extends at any suitable angle a, preferably 90°, to the first optical axis Al, as shown in Fig. 1. The angle may be any generated by means of a static, or electromechanically tiltable, prism or mirror having an inclined reflection surface in relation to the first optical axis Al

The optical zoom camera module 2 comprises at least one optical element (not shown) and at least one actuator 16 interacting with the optical element. The optical element may be a fluid element, such as a tunable lens, or a solid plastic or glass element, or any suitable combination. One optical element may be a focusing lens and one optical element may be a zooming lens.

The actuator 16 may be any suitable kind of actuator such as, e.g., a shape memory alloy actuator, an electrostatic actuator, an electromagnetic actuator, a magnetorestrictive actuator, a piezo motor, a stepper motor, or an electroactive polymer actuator. The actuation axis A3 for each actuator 16 extends in parallel with, as shown in Figs. 2, 3b, and 5, or perpendicular to, as shown in Fig. 3a, the first optical axis Al. The opto-mechanical system 19 may comprise two actuators 16, and hence two optical elements, i.e. one actuator 16 per optical element.

The electro-mechanical arrangement 1, mentioned above, comprises a first hardware unit 5, a second hardware unit 6, a third hardware unit 7, and a fourth hardware unit 4. A first flexible electrical interface 8 interconnects the first hardware unit 5 and the second hardware unit 6, a second flexible electrical interface 9 interconnects the second hardware unit 6 and the third hardware unit 7, and a third flexible electrical interface 10 interconnects the third hardware unit 7 and the fourth hardware unit 4.

The second hardware unit 6 may comprise a primary second hardware sub-unit 6a and a secondary second hardware sub-unit 6b, the primary second hardware sub-unit 6a and the secondary second hardware sub-unit 6b being interconnected by a fourth flexible electrical interface 11. The primary second hardware sub-unit 6a and the secondary second hardware sub-unit 6b maty extend substantially in parallel with each other, preferably with partial overlap.

The hardware units 5, 6, 7, 4, and optionally the primary second hardware sub-unit 6a and the secondary second hardware sub-unit 6b, may all comprise substantially identical printed or flexible wiring board blocks. Nevertheless, all of these hardware units may also comprise differing printed wiring board blocks, to varying degrees.

The hardware units 5, 6, 7, 4 and the flexible electrical interfaces 8, 9, 10 are all arranged in a plane comprising the first optical axis Al. The second optical axis A2 extends at an angle to the plane, and the actuation axis A3 extends in parallel with the plane. Furthermore, the hardware units 5, 6, 7, 4, and optionally the primary second hardware sub-unit 6a and the secondary second hardware sub-unit 6b, may be arranged such that they do not overlap each other or the first optical axis Al, in the plane comprising the first optical axis Al. Furthermore, none of these components should overlap the optical zoom camera module 2 in the plane comprising the first optical axis Al. The second hardware unit 6 and the third hardware unit 7 of the electro-mechanical arrangement 1 and the actuators 16 may be arranged on one side of the optical zoom camera module 2, such that the arrangement of the second hardware unit 6, the third hardware unit 7, and the actuators 16 extends substantially in parallel with the optical zoom camera module 2.

The fourth hardware unit 4 may also be arranged on the above-mentioned side of the optical zoom camera module 2, adjacent the third hardware unit 7. The third hardware unit 7 and the fourth hardware unit 4 may be arranged at least partially at an angle to each other, facilitating a space therebetween. This space may be filled with other electronic components, or e.g. one or several support elements 21.

The first hardware unit 5 may be arranged at one end of the electro-mechanical arrangement 1 such that it extends adjacent both one end of the optical zoom camera module 2 and adjacent one actuator 16. Furthermore, the first hardware unit 5 may comprise at least a printed wiring board and an image sensor. The first hardware unit 5 may further be used to support additional hardware elements and a housing with an IR-filter element.

The second hardware unit 6 may comprises at least a printed wiring board. The second hardware unit 6 may also comprise a first flexible electrical interface connector 13 to a handset, external host control, and/or a power supply for at least one actuator 16. Additionally, the second hardware unit 6 may comprise a second flexible electrical interface connector 14 to a handset, external host control, and/or a power supply for at least one actuator 16. The electro-mechanical arrangement 1 may comprise two actuators 16, each actuator 16 being connected to one of the first flexible electrical interface connector 13 and the second flexible electrical interface connector 14.

The second hardware unit 6 may comprise at least one actuator interconnection 17, the actuator interconnection 17 being adapted for connecting an actuator driver element (not shown) to at least one actuator 16. The actuator interconnection 17, shown in Figs. 4a and 4b, may comprise electroplated through holes.

The second hardware unit 6 may furthermore comprise a thermal conduction arrangement 15 for conducting heat away from the optical zoom camera module 2. The thermal conduction arrangement may be at least one thermal sensor 15 adapted for sensing the thermal conditions of the optical zoom camera module 2. The thermal sensor 15 may be in direct contact with the optical zoom camera module 2, as shown in Figs. 2, 3b, and 5, or may be connected to the optical zoom camera module 2 by means of a thermally conductive extension arm 18, as shown in Figs. 3a and 6, the conductive extension arm 18 being made of, e.g., metal, copper/graphite tape, or any other suitable heat conducting member. The thermal sensor 15 is arranged externally to the optical element of the optical zoom camera module 2 and may be pressed or glued onto the optical element. When the thermal sensor 15 is in direct contact with the optical zoom camera module 2, it extends through the second hardware unit 6 or through at least one of the primary second hardware sub-unit 6a and the secondary second hardware sub-unit 6b.

The third hardware unit 7 may comprise at least a printed wiring board. The third hardware unit 7 may furthermore comprise at least one LED flash 12, as shown in Fig. 6.

The third hardware unit 7 may also be interconnected with the actuator 16. In one embodiment, the third hardware unit 7 comprises the above-mentioned actuator driver element, the actuator driver element being adapted for connecting to at least one actuator 16. The actuator driver element may be arranged in a non-contacting arrangement against the optical zoom camera module 2. Furthermore, the third hardware unit 7 may comprise a support element 21 adapted for maintaining the form factor of the actuator driver element. As illustrated in Figs. 2, 3a, 3b, 5, and 6, the third hardware unit 7 may be arranged such that it extends at an angle, preferably 45°, to the first optical axis Al. When the third hardware unit 7 is arranged in parallel with, or perpendicular to, the first optical axis Al, the third hardware unit 7 would most likely be in contact with the optical zoom camera module 2 and hence conduct heat to the optical zoom camera module 2. Hence, it is advantageous to arrange the third hardware unit 7 diagonally, in order to void such contact. Non-parallel placement would also provide the largest free area for other surface mounted components.

The fourth hardware unit 4 may comprise at least a printed wiring board and electrical connections 3 to the optical zoom camera module 2. The fourth hardware unit 4 may also comprise optical image stabilization such as a 2-axis gyroscope and related hardware.

The various aspects and implementations have been described in conjunction with various embodiments herein. However, other variations to the disclosed embodiments can be understood and effected by those skilled in the art in practicing the claimed subject-matter, from a study of the drawings, the disclosure, and the appended claims. In the claims, the word “comprising” does not exclude other elements or steps, and the indefinite article “a” or “an” does not exclude a plurality. A single processor or other unit may fulfill the functions of several items recited in the claims. The mere fact that certain measures are recited in mutually different dependent claims does not indicate that a combination of these measured cannot be used to advantage. A computer program may be stored/distributed on a suitable medium, such as an optical storage medium or a solid-state medium supplied together with or as part of other hardware, but may also be distributed in other forms, such as via the Internet or other wired or wireless telecommunication systems.

The reference signs used in the claims shall not be construed as limiting the scope. Unless otherwise indicated, the drawings are intended to be read (e.g., cross-hatching, arrangement of parts, proportion, degree, etc.) together with the specification, and are to be considered a portion of the entire written description of this disclosure. As used in the description, the terms “horizontal”, “vertical”, “left”, “right”, “up” and “down”, as well as adjectival and adverbial derivatives thereof (e.g., “horizontally”, “rightwardly”, “upwardly”, etc.), simply refer to the orientation of the illustrated structure as the particular drawing figure faces the reader. Similarly, the terms “inwardly” and “outwardly” generally refer to the orientation of a surface relative to its axis of elongation, or axis of rotation, as appropriate.