Tokyo, Japan Alps Electric rolls out three-models of its FP85 series of 1/4-inch format, two-megapixel camera modules for mobile phones. Packaged in the same 8.5 x 8.5 x 6.1-mm high footprint, these modules offer a choice of fixed focus, macro, or autofocus features. Sample shipments will begin in June 2006.
What's key about the FP85 series is that all of the camera phone modules are the same size. Previously, camera phone modules varied in size based on their functions.
Typically, to create the macro facility and autofocus functions, parts such as actuators that manipulate lenses in order to adjust focus had to be attached to fixed-focus camera modules, which means the modules had to be larger, said the company. By leveraging Alps' high-precision processing and packaging technologies, the company said it can now offer mobile phone manufacturers the choice of three focus functions all packaged in the same compact size.
Alps uses a voice coil system with magnetic simulation technology for macro focus, and a piezo system for autofocus. The lenses, a major component of the camera modules, are high-resolution aspheric plastic lenses that are thin and compact.
Sample pricing for the FP85 fixed focus camera module is $100; $150 for the macro version and $200 for the autofocus module.
Alps Electric Co., Ltd., www.alps.com