MEMS ScanAR technology

A reference design and a manufacturing ecosystem to accelerate the development of Augmented Reality glasses.

STMicroelectronics is an industry leader in MEMS technologies and has demonstrated a strong expertise in developing sensors and actuators for decades. ST industrializes a broad range of MEMS actuators based on several technologies including thermal, electrostatic, electromagnetic, and piezoelectric devices and shipped more than 5 billion units over the past 20 years.

They talk about our breakthrough in MEMS ScanAR technology

MEMS micromirror

MEMS micromirror

MEMS micromirror solutions are typically used in laser beam scanning systems (LBS) to project visible images or infrared patterns. These solutions work by deflecting laser beams emitted from laser diodes to project images onto the required field of view. The beam deflection is generally performed using a combination of two mirrors rotating on perpendicular axes.

MEMS micromirror solutions are typically used in laser beam scanning systems (LBS) to project visible images or infrared patterns. These solutions work by deflecting laser beams emitted from laser diodes to project images onto the required field of view. The beam deflection is generally performed using a combination of two mirrors rotating on perpendicular axes.

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The entire portfolio

MEMS micromirrors 

MEMS micromirrors, either based on single- or dual-axis architecture, for visible or invisible (IR) projection.

Driver ICs

MEMS micromirror driver ICs to ensure the accurate control of mirror positioning.

Laser diode driver

Specifically developed for Augmented Reality (AR) applications, which require low-power, high-resolution visible projection systems.

A complete solution for Augmented Reality applications


In AR and MR applications, the LBS system creates an image by scanning RGB laser beams onto the MEMS mirrors and modulating the laser beams at each pixel. This solution brings several benefits compared to its competitive technologies:
  • Extended depth of field
  • High persistency and low latency
  • High brightness, ideal for smart glasses
  • Scalable field of view
  • Compactness
  • Power efficiency
  • Light weight for the overall optical light engine

Our reference design

800 x 600 px Resolution
60 Hz Refresh rate
< 0.75 cc Ultra compact
> 1000 cd/m² Ultra bright

Additionally, to ensure a faster and a swifter integration cycle, ST developed a complete reference design based on the MEMS ScanAR components. The reference platform focuses on the application by providing key tools to enable development of the smart glasses. This reference design is also adaptable to the know-how and needs of each of our customers.

800 x 600 px Resolution
60 Hz Refresh rate
< 0.75 cc Ultra compact
> 1000 cd/m² Ultra bright

ST and the LaSAR Alliance

In October 2020, ST and other leading technology developers, suppliers and manufacturers decided to join forces and collaborate to develop and accelerate AR smart-glasses solutions. Founding members in the LaSAR Alliance include Applied Materials, Dispelix, Mega1, and Osram, in addition to ST who envisioned and created the Alliance concept. The Alliance is focused on meeting the technical challenges required for all-day wearable smart glasses by creating an ecosystem that includes companies developing technologies, components and solutions, based on laser beam scanning (LBS), to provide Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) device manufacturers with key foundational elements necessary to bring products to market.

The goal is to facilitate the development of glasses solution that will balance a small, light-weight form factor and extremely low-power operation with good FoV (Field-of-View) and a large eyebox. The founding members coalesced around the recognition that near-to-eye displays based on ST-developed LBS solutions have demonstrated the potential to meet all these requirements.

Leveraging this ecosystem, ST and its partners have the ambitious goal to rapidly expand the membership of the Alliance to further the development, availability, and support of all key technology elements for rapid creation, adoption, and volume production of AR-enabled smart glasses applications.

ST-published papers on Laser Beam Scanning

2021

Title Authors Publication  
A novel closed-loop architecture for accurate micromirror trajectory control in linear scanning MEMS-based projectors. P. Frigerio, R. Tarsi, L. Molinari, G. Maiocchi, A. Barbieri, G. Langfelder SPIE.Photonics West, SPIE OPTO, March 2021 View
Compact and innovative laser beam steering optical engine for smart glasses applications. A. Domnits, S. Erlich, D. Sharon, E. Roth SPIE.Photonics West, SPIE OPTO, March 2021 View
Electro-mechanical validation of a resonant MEMS mirror with PZT actuation and PZR sensing. G. Mendicino, M. Merli, R. Carminati, N. Boni, A. Opreni, A. Frangi SPIE.Photonics West, SPIE OPTO, March 2021 View
Modeling and experimental verification of the impact of noise sources on projection accuracy of MEMS linear micromirrors for raster scanning applications. P. Frigerio, A. Barbieri, M. Zamprogno, G. Langfelder SPIE.Photonics West, SPIE OPTO, March 2021 View
Multiple MEMS mirrors synchronization techniques, modeling, and applications. G. Amor, E. Roth, D. Sharon, N. Gorelik, S. Kinstlich, S. Nagola SPIE.Photonics West, SPIE OPTO, March 2021 View
Quasi-static PZT actuated MEMS mirror with 4x3mm2 reflective area and high robustness. N. Boni, R. Carminati, G. Mendicino, M. Merli SPIE.Photonics West, SPIE OPTO, March 2021 View