Samsung to mass produce optical 10x zoom folded camera module

Samsung Electro-Mechanics' optical 10x zoom folded camera module, which is one of the main features of Galaxy S21 Ultra, will now be supplied to other global smartphone companies, too.

The company said that with the technology accumulated in the mobile area, it is expanding its business with global automotive companies. 

The company, however, did not spell out the name of the companies it will be supplying the modules to.

Basically, folded optical zoom technology allows phone makers to minimize the camera’s protrusion in smartphones.

What's optical zooming?

Optical zoom refers to the function of zooming in or out an object by moving two or more lenses. By adjusting the focal length of the lens, it enhances the object. Even after enlarging the picture, the image stays clear. There is no deterioration in the picture quality that occurs when zooming in an image taken by a normal digital zoom.

Two years back, Samsung developed the folded camera module that secures focus point by refracting the light in the form of a periscope and succeeded in realizing 5x optical zoom without the protrusion of the camera module. 

As it happened, when increasing the optical zoom magnification rate, the length of the camera module increases, resulting in inefficient space usage within the smartphone.

"In order to solve this issue, Samsung Electro-Mechanics developed the dual folded camera module by refracting light two times to increase the focus distance by two times while only increasing the length of the camera module by 25%," the company said in a blogpost.

To lessen the height of the camera module, the company applied its own lens that cut the top and bottom of the lens.

Optical zoom camera can be used in automobiles

The camera module is used not just in smartphones alone. It is put to use in automobiles too, and requires a high level of technology, including the pursuit of high resolution, miniature, slim, and low-power.

The company blogpost, however, did not mention how the optical zoom camera will find use in automobiles.

Ik Chan Shim, Managing Director and Module Development Team Leader at Samsung Electro-Mechanics, said "the need for ultra-small, high magnification optical zoom is increasing in the market. Samsung Electro-Mechanics supplies distinguished products to clients in need through unique technology allowing us to directly design and manufacture core products, such as the lens and actuator.”

For the record, in the past, Samsung Electro-Mechanics had supplied the previous versions of optical zoom camera modules to Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo in China.

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