Himax reportedly joining 3D sensor supply chain for 'iPhone 8'

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in iPhone
Rumors of 3D-sensing features being included in Apple's rumored OLED iPhone are continuing to grow, with the Taiwanese Himax Technologies reportedly joining the supply chain for the device, providing glass for a module constructed by Lumentum.




Component supplier Lumentum will allegedly provide the 3D-sensing modules for the iPhone 8, according to DigiTimes, with the front camera system offering both 3D sensing and 3D modeling capabilities. This could be used as part of a facial recognition system or, as sources suggest, virtual reality and augmented reality functions.

The module in question will use VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser)-based DOE (diffractive optical elements) for the camera, claims the report. The sources claim the module will use a chip-on-glass (COG) construction, with Himax handling the glass component design, and backend partner ChipMOS also providing assistance.

Earlier this week, Morgan Stanley analyst Charlie Chan wrote about the possibility of Himax injecting itself into the 3D sensing component supply chain. In a note received by Barron's, Chan writes that Himax's wafer level optics (WLO) technology can further reduce the size and fit the 3D sensing in smartphones.

Chan suggests Himax's work on 3D sensing technology will make up 20 percent of the firm's revenue in 2018, supposedly helping to fill the vacuum of its AR smart glasses business until an expected resurgence in 2019. Apple's interest in 3D sensing has also made Chan more optimistic about the technology being used in smartphones produced by competitors in the future.

On March 20, Lumentum was also identified by another analyst as a supplier for the iPhone 8. Timothy Arcuri of Cowen & Company claimed Lumentum and Finistar were providing laser emitters for the device, with Heptagon/AMS tapped for a new infrared sensor, and STM for the camera's CMOS sensor.

Apple is expected to ship three new iPhones this fall, including the "iPhone 8," and two "7s" models using 4.7- and 5.5-inch LCDs like the iPhone 7. All three are expected to offer wireless charging, as well as faster wired charging via Lightning.

The "iPhone 8" will likely use a 5.8-inch OLED display, with about 0.7 inches of that being dedicated to virtual buttons replacing a physical one. It may also offer 3D facial recognition, and possibly a new form of fingerprint sensor.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 231member
    More indication that the 8 is slated for next year. Way too late to join the party for this year. I fully expect a 7s and plus, and a gussied up version of it as a commemorative 10 year anniversary iPhone. But no 8 for this year. The tick-tock cycle will remain in place. The "super-cycle is a made up "analyst" echo-chamber term,repressthis said:
    qwwera said:
    More indication that the 8 is slated for next year. Way too late to join the party for this year. I fully expect a 7s and plus, and a gussied up version of it as a commemorative 10 year anniversary iPhone. But no 8 for this year. The tick-tock cycle will remain in place. The "super-cycle is a made up "analyst" echo-chamber term/
    IDK, 10th anniversary special edition iPhone is a very compelling rumor...
    It would have to launch in 2017 for that moniker. Maybe you made up that analyst made up this "super-cycle." Whoa, so meta. 
    qwwera said:
    More indication that the 8 is slated for next year. Way too late to join the party for this year. I fully expect a 7s and plus, and a gussied up version of it as a commemorative 10 year anniversary iPhone. But no 8 for this year. The tick-tock cycle will remain in place. The "super-cycle is a made up "analyst" echo-chamber term/
    IDK, 10th anniversary special edition iPhone is a very compelling rumor...
    It would have to launch in 2017 for that moniker. Maybe you made up that analyst made up this "super-cycle." Whoa, so meta. 
    Like I said, i do expect an "Edition" version of the 7s as THE commemorative 10 year anniversary iPhone.
    And I didn't make up the "super cycle" term. That's what i hear the echo-chamber repeatedly say.
    edited March 2017 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 2 of 8
    qwwera said:
    More indication that the 8 is slated for next year. Way too late to join the party for this year. I fully expect a 7s and plus, and a gussied up version of it as a commemorative 10 year anniversary iPhone. But no 8 for this year. The tick-tock cycle will remain in place. The "super-cycle is a made up "analyst" echo-chamber term/
    IDK, 10th anniversary special edition iPhone is a very compelling rumor...
    It would have to launch in 2017 for that moniker. Maybe you made up that analyst made up this "super-cycle." Whoa, so meta. 
  • Reply 3 of 8
    Would the phone need 2 front-facing cameras to capture 3D?
  • Reply 4 of 8
    Would the phone need 2 front-facing cameras to capture 3D?
    The Himax 3D system only requires one camera module. It's rather interesting... http://www.idownloadblog.com/2017/03/28/iphone-8s-augmented-reality-3d-sensor-could-be-built-by-himax-technologies/
    slprescott
  • Reply 5 of 8
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,472member
    Hopefully the 3D facial recognition software lets you record multiple versions of your face, for example - with and without sunglasses. 
  • Reply 6 of 8
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,472member
    Would the phone need 2 front-facing cameras to capture 3D?
    The Himax 3D system only requires one camera module. It's rather interesting... http://www.idownloadblog.com/2017/03/28/iphone-8s-augmented-reality-3d-sensor-could-be-built-by-himax-technologies/
    It may be the same general Himax hardware used in Lenovo's (poorly designed) Phab 2 Pro running Tango. 
    edited March 2017
  • Reply 7 of 8
    HyperealityHypereality Posts: 22unconfirmed, member
    I'm curious about this idea of 3D scanning/modelling with the front camera, it just doesn't ring true to me. 

    Having used the Tango device and worked with a number of AR applications, I can see the usefulness of a 3D rear camera. 

    The uses of a front facing camera seem much more limited.  

    Which leads me to wonder if there are other uses for a laser module on the front of the phone.  Assuming the reports are correct.   The most useful thing I can think of is not to use the thing for scanning but for an optical network.  25Gps comms for a personal area network would have some interesting implications for e.g.: lightweight AR or VR headsets which are very dependent on high bandwidth communications which is why a lot of the current products such as HoloLens and Meta have thick cables connecting the processor to the headset. 
  • Reply 8 of 8
    HyperealityHypereality Posts: 22unconfirmed, member
    Would the phone need 2 front-facing cameras to capture 3D?
    There are quite a few different ways to capture 3D with a monocular sensor.  The way it works on Google Tango is that there is a laser that projects a 'structured light' network over the scene (think graph paper that the eye cannot see).  Then an infrared sensor picks up the laser light and this is used to construct a depth map (point cloud) by reverse calculating from the distorted grid from the camera back to the transformation needed to make the structure normal. As the phone moves around the depth map is corrected and built up over time and progressively becomes more accurate.  

    So while there is only one camera, there is structured light emitted from a separate location on the device.  In this article both a sensor is discussed as well as a VCSEL laser.  One laser to illuminate the scene and a sensor to record it.  That's enough to read a 3D point cloud from the scene. 




    ai46slprescott
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