The Korea Herald


LG Innotek awarded at 'Edison Awards,' the most prestigious invention award in the US for the second consecutive year


Published : April 26, 2024 - 00:10

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Achieved high-definition image at the level of DSLR cameras with a smartphone

  • 'High Magnification Optical Continuous Zoom Camera Module'…World's first mass production in 2022
  • Innovative optical camera technology is increasingly being used in a variety of applications, including vehicles and robots

SEOUL, South Korea, April 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- LG Innotek (CEO Moon, Hyuksoo) has once again demonstrated its unrivaled technology to the global market by winning the "Edison Awards" for the second consecutive year, following their success last year.

LG Innotek’s High Magnification Optical Continuous Zoom Camera Module
LG Innotek’s High Magnification Optical Continuous Zoom Camera Module

On the 25th, LG Innotek announced that they have won this year's 'Edison Awards 2024' for its 'High Magnification Optical Continuous Zoom Camera Module (hereinafter referred to as 'Optical Continuous Zoom Module') for smartphones, which is applied with the world's best optical design technology. 

Edison Awards is the most prestigious invention award in the US held since 1987 to commemorate the innovative spirit of the inventor Edison, and is referred to as the 'Oscars of Innovation.'

Over 3,000 judges comprised of top management and scholars in each industrial field across the US conduct strict reviews for approximately 7 months. Every year, they select the winners of the gold, silver, and bronze awards in 16 areas.

The continuous zoom module submitted by LG Innotek this year was selected as the winner of the Silver Award in the area of 'Commercial technology' at the award ceremony held in Florida, USA on the evening of the 18th (local time).

'Optical Zoom' is the zoom function that provides high-definition images by directly moving the lens to zoom in on an object. Previously, optical zoom could only be properly realized by installing multiple 'Fixed Zoom Modules' that work at a specific magnification. Because of this, it has been applied only to large professional cameras, such as DSLR cameras.

Since there was no space to install optical fixed zoom modules in smartphones, there were no options but to adopt the 'digital zoom' method, which zooms in on a filmed image using software. This is the reason picture quality deteriorated when a picture was taken while zooming in using existing smartphones.

As LG Innotek successfully developed 'optical continuous zoom modules' in 2021, an era has opened where shooting of high-definition images at the level of DSLR cameras is possible.

The 'Optical Continuous Zoom Module' submitted to the Edison Awards is a version LG Innotek commercialized for the first time in the world in 2022. Even with just one module built-in, high-definition images can be shot while freely adjusting between all the intervals between 3x and 5x. An LG Innotek official explained that the customer adopting the product can secure additional space in a smartphone and improve battery efficiency.

The key to the successful mass production of the 'Optical Continuous Zoom Module' is in the 'Zoom Actuator' that adopted LG Innotek's unrivaled precision control technology.

The 'Zoom Actuator' is the core part of a camera module adjusting the focus of the lens while moving multiple lenses quickly and accurately. The longer the lens operating distance, the higher the magnification, thereby making the accurate control of the operating distance crucial. LG Innotek's 'Zoom Actuator' operates precisely by micrometers (㎛, one millionth of 1 meter), and achieves a crystal clear image quality.

In addition to this, the innovation of the product was further enhanced by solving the issue of 'protruding camera lens' by applying a 'D Cut Design' that cuts the protruded part of the circular lens and turns it into a flat alphabet 'D' shape.

LG Innotek has continuously upgraded the specifications since the first mass production of the 'Optical Continuous Zoom Module' and in the second half of 2022, it also successfully developed continuous zoom module that can perform optical shooting between the high magnification range between 4x and 9x. The company has won the Innovation Award with that zoom module at CES 2023.

CTO S.David Roh said, "By winning the Edison Award, LG Innotek was able to prove again its unrivaled technology accumulated in the area of camera modules" and added, "We will also apply the 'Optical Continuous Camera Modules' to various areas such as vehicles and robots to continuously provide differentiated customer values."