Microvision MEMS Technology
Microvision, a leading developer of scanned light beam technology, has unveiled a new laser bar code scanner, incorporating the company's unique silicon MEMS scanning mirror technology. The product, named ROV™ Scanner, is a fashionably sleek, hand-held, Bluetooth enabled laser bar code scanner aimed at mobile workers who need simple and affordable data collection.
The MEMS scanner
MEMS (Micro- Electro-Mechanical Systems) is the integration of mechanical elements and electronics on a common silicon substrate. Inherent advantages of MEMS devices are high reliability, low power operation, small size, low cost to manufacture, and high scalability to volume production. Microvision has utilized these advantages to advance its 2D light scanning and image capture technology into a number of next generation products for pico projectors, vehicles displays, and wearable displays that interface to mobile devices. Microvision has also leveraged these same advantages into its bar code scanner products with the design and introduction of the ROV Scanner, a 1-D MEMSbased bar code scanner. With over 100 patents issued and 80 pending, Microvision has proven expertise in MEMS technology.
MEMS devices have proven their value and reliability in other markets and products such as projection display systems, consumer electronics and medical applications in imaging and blood pressure monitoring. They are also a key element in the highly demanding automotive market's safety restraint system (air bags) and suspension control systems.
Improved reliability is a key benefit of a MEMS-based bar code scanner technology compared to other laser bar code scanner technologies. Even after millions of scans, the integrity of the MEMS-engine does not degrade due to the inherent properties of silicon. The oscillating silicon mirror is extremely small and lightweight, reducing susceptibility to performance degradation resulting from bumps and vibrations often experienced with a handheld device. Integrating all moving parts onto a low mass MEMS engine eliminates parts that wear out or fatigue with use.
Laser bar code scanning engines provide advantages over other scanning methods such as greater scan distance, larger bar code capability, reduced ambient light susceptibility, and ability to read on irregular surfaces. Further, a MEMS-based laser bar code scanner provides these same advantages with higher reliability at a lower cost. The manufacturing techniques for fabricating MEMS devices enable lower cost of production. By utilizing well established semiconductor processes and producing many devices on a single silicon wafer, MEMS part price is kept low. As well as being cost effective, these design and manufacturing practices are easily scaled to high volume production.
The Scan Engine Assembly
At the heart of the ROV™ Scanner is the MEMS-based scan engine subsystem. This subsystem is well suited for a stand alone product with potential as an embedded component extending functionality of other devices such as cell phones, mobile computers, or kiosks. MEMS technology is an exciting new field which continues to yield promising developments of higher levels of integration and increased
performance at lower costs.
Microvision continues to forge ahead with its product vision of providing simple and affordable data collection for price sensitive applications. Leveraging its expertise in MEMS-based light scanning into its own scan engine further enables this promise.
GREINER A. GONZALEZ G.