MEMS scanner projects Bosch Sensortec into displays, user interfaces

February 27, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
The BML050 microscanner from Bosch Sensortec is a game changer according to CEO Stefan Finkbeiner, because it takes the company into optical MEMS and into a multitude of markets away from Sensortec's traditional consumer electronics base.

Bosch Sensortec is launching the BML050 at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona.

The BML050 incorporates two hermetically sealed MEMS micromirrors for X and Y scanning.

The core component is a two MEMS mirror optical scanner for RGB visible light and IR laser projection which is inherently in focus. The component can be used for the projection of images and the creation of a projected virtual user interface and Bosch has developed its geometry perspective scaling to allow images to appear correct when under oblique projection. Interactivity is enabled by use of a receiving photodiode that measures the reflected light intensity pixel by pixel. It is thus possible to detect if the light intensity has changed in a given region and interpret that as key stroke or button press. Embedded projectors and augmented reality applications include games, infotainment and in-car head-up displays.

The BML050 reference design is a ready-to-run sub-system although Bosch Sensortec can discuss other layouts and formfactors.

Bosch Sensortec is also attempting to move up to a subsystem-level of supply. While it, with parent company Robert Bosch, has researched and developed the optical MEMS scanner the company has also worked with partners to develop laser driver ASIC, MEMS driver and video processor ASIC, power management IC. Finkbeiner wouldn't name the partners but he said Bosch Sensortec is prepared to bundle all these devices together lasers to produce a subsystem.

"We can deliver all the ingredients, optical MEMS and others. It is a new deal in terms of new markets and we're moving up from being a pure component supplier. It's a new step in the history of Bosch Sensortec; a new value proposition," Finkbeiner said.

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