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Display technology spawns laser camera

Detailed information about Microvision's image capture platform (brief excerpt below):

An innovative imaging platform has been developed that uses scanned beams of light and is in effect a versatile “laser camera.” Leveraging technology originally developed for its scanned-beam displays, Microvision has developed a scanned-beam endoscope design that meets demanding size constraints (5-mm total diameter) while also delivering good resolution (currently SVGA). While recent developments have centered on biological and medical applications, the technology represents a unique and extensible imaging architecture that has applicability across a broad range of medical and nonmedical markets, including barcode scanning, machine vision, microscopy, and scientific imaging.

Whereas conventional digital photography places a technology burden on the CCD or CMOS sensor array, laser photography requires a high-performance beam scanner. The beam scanner must be able to scan at high frequency to provide a high frame rate. It must also have a large (scan angle)•(mirror size) product, while maintaining acceptable static and dynamic mirror flatness to provide high resolution. Microvision currently uses proprietary single-crystal bulk-micromachined silicon microelectromechanical-system (MEMS) scanner technology developed for its scanned-beam displays.

The laser-camera technology offers many new performance capabilities and benefits by exploiting a fundamentally new architecture for capturing images. These capabilities, taken individually or in combination, are expected to open a new design frontier for imaging systems with requirements that cannot be cost-effectively met by conventional integrated matrix imagers.


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