Small energy efficient lens could make smartphone projectors mainstream

Alps Electric’s tiny new lens might just be the key to bringing on-board smartphone projectors to the mass market.

The FLGS3 Series is a highly efficient 1 × 1mm square aspherical glass lens—the industry’s smallest. Alps harnessed technologies accumulated through more than 20 years serving the optical communication market—in the areas of optical design, mechanical design, mold and die manufacturing, molding, and simulation—to expand the effective numerical aperture (NA) to 0.65 × 0.13 (from 0.5 × 0.1) while retaining the industry’s smallest size, and as a result raise optical coupling efficiency, which is a measure of light transmission efficiency, to 73% from 68%. With low loss, the light input required for a given output is smaller. This contributes to low power consumption, and also restricts heat generation, thereby enabling application in low-price modules that do not require Peltier devices*1 or other cooling components. The lens is also ideal for high-brightness projector applications.

A total of million devices with built-in projectors are expected to have shipped by the end of 2011, according to DigiTimes’s source, prices are likely to remain high until 2013.

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