ST joins with OQmented on MEMS mirror-based solution

March 29, 2021  - By

OQmented/STMicroelectronicsAgreement focuses on increasing development and capacity for ultra-compact, low-power laser-beam scanners to expand the market

STMicroelectronics and OQmented, a startup focused on MEMS-mirror technology, have agreed to collaborate on the advancement of the technology for augmented reality and 3D-sensing markets. Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) combine tiny 3D mechanical structures and electrical circuits on a chip to sense and actuate activity.

The joint effort aims to build on the expertise of both companies to advance the technology and products behind the leading MEMS-mirror-based laser-beam scanning solutions in the market.

ST manufactures MEMS sensors, actuators and related components including drivers, controllers and laser-diode drivers. ST is contributing its MEMS design and manufacturing resources to the collaboration.

OQmented plans to further industrialize and mass produce its Bubble MEMS technology, a patented 3D glass-encapsulation method of hermetic vacuum sealing of MEMS micro-mirrors. The glass bubbles eliminate environmental contaminants and minimize light-refraction effects.

Automotive grade. Vacuum sealing is a key element for meeting automotive-grade requirements, while simultaneously reducing power consumption by an order of magnitude and enhancing performance for resonant, bi-axial scanners, where the MEMS mirrors move in both axes at their resonant frequency, creating an ultra-compact and power-efficient scanning solution. The resonant mirrors are suitable for display and 3D sensing applications in mobile devices.

“In teaming with ST, we’ve chosen a solid semiconductor partner that has demonstrated its leading position in design and manufacturing of MEMS products, particularly MEMS mirrors, over the past 20 years,” said Ulrich Hofmann, CEO/CTO and co-founder, OQmented. “Combining ST’s expertise in developing, marketing, and manufacturing key components for laser-beam scanning solutions with OQmented’s knowledge and intellectual property will contribute greatly to our product offering, manufacturing capacity, and marketing channels, while also expanding the market in numerous application areas.”

“Our goal in working with OQmented is to leverage our shared expertise and deep understanding of laser-beam scanning technologies with the mutual vision to continue the adoption and growth of laser-beam scanning in key applications, such as augmented reality and 3D sensing,” said Anton Hofmeister, vice president and general manager, MEMS Microactuator Division, STMicroelectronics.

From the joint effort, ST and OQmented plan to market a wide range of scanning solutions. These would include MEMS mirrors, MEMS drivers and controllers, and complete reference designs of laser-beam scanning engines for a range of applications. The companies also intend to collaborate on a laser-beam scanning roadmap and the development of future technologies and products.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.