Microvision’s MEMS scanning mirror proves shock-resistant

November 5, 2008: Microvision Inc., a maker of ultra-miniature projection display and image-capture products for mobile devices, has received external validation of key shock-resistance susceptibility performance for its wide-angle (WVGA) MEMS scanning mirror, a key component inside the company’s ultra-miniature PicoP display engine. Testing was conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Fraunhofer IPMS), an internationally recognized research and development institute for MEMS.

According to Sid Madhavan, Microvision VP of research and development, “Key components reliability testing is part of our commercial development process.” Test results show the firm’s MEMS scanning mirror “exceeds twice the shock performance requirements provided by OEM partners,” he added, meaning that when embedded in a typical handheld device, “it will exceed the required shock orientations of a four-foot drop test on concrete in all shock orientations.”

“Long-term shock and drop reliability of MEMS is extremely important for any devices that will be handled by consumers on a daily basis and manufactured in very large quantities,” stated Harald Schenk, deputy director and head of Fraunhofer IPMS’ micro scanner devices business unit. After extensive shock testing, “our results confirmed that Microvision’s devices exceed the shock resistance specifications for consumer electronics hand-set manufacturers by twice the defined requirements.”

Microvision’s MEMS scanning mirror is a key component of the company’s modular PicoP display engine. The tiny MEMS scanning mirror itself is less than one square millimeter in area — or about the size of the head of a pin. The single scanning mirror is designed to scan in both horizontal and vertical directions so that a single beam of light can be precisely steered, in a raster-like fashion, at very high speeds to project a complete video image.

Microvision’s MEMS scanning mirror is a silicon device at the center of which is a tiny mirror.

The inherent advantages of this architecture include small form factor and low power consumption, while delivering high image quality. PicoP uses a collimated beam of light to achieve very efficient full-color, high-resolution, high-contrast images. Additionally, PicoP does not require any projection lenses and the resulting “focus-free” operation at any distance, adds another significant advantage to the PicoP based consumer projectors.


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