A world leader in smartphone camera technology has captured £32 million in funding.

Smartphone innovation is dominated by camera technology, fuelled by the growth of social media and video-sharing platforms. 

Cambridge Mechatronics is blazing a trail in the design and control of shape memory alloy actuators, which improve smartphone imaging. It does this through the generation of a high force-to-mass ratio, performing precision movements of camera components to achieve autofocus and optical image stabilisation in a more compact and lightweight design. 

Compared to incumbent voice coil motor technology, SMA is free of electromagnetic interference. 

Cambridge Mechatronics’s technology has shipped in over 70m products to date, including several of the world’s top-ranking smartphone cameras, according to industry expert DXOMARK. It has over 700 patents pending and granted.

The oversubscribed funding round was led by Atlantic Bridge. Intel Capital and Supernova acted as co-leads with further participation from Sony Innovation Fund.

It will enable Cambridge Mechatronics to expand beyond smartphone imaging to applications in healthcare, interactive entertainment and beyond. For example, the need for miniaturisation and precise dosing in small-format drug delivery devices. SMA haptics, providing localised and variable haptic feedback, has applications in both smartphones and game controllers. 

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“We are delighted to welcome such a prominent group of global investors to CML,” said Jörgen Lantto, chairman. “Their expertise and experience together with the capital raised will enable us to accelerate our plans for growth. 

“The fact that this funding round was oversubscribed is a testament to the innovation of our talented employees developing world-leading SMA technology, and the wide range of applications where CML’s SMA technology can deliver industry-leading performance.”

Antonio Avitabile, managing director – EMEA at Sony Ventures Corporation, added: “SMA actuator technology is transformational for the smartphone camera industry, where Sony is a market leader. 

“CML’s extensive patent portfolio and proven commercial traction, well-position it as a leading innovator in this space. 

“We look forward to supporting CML as they expand their product portfolio of SMA technology in the smartphone industry and beyond.”

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