Apple to reduce Face ID scanner sensor size by 50% for 'iPhone 13'

Posted:
in iPhone
The 3D scanner used for Face ID is expected to get up to 50% smaller in the "iPhone 13" which could lead to a smaller notch, according to supply chain sources.

The notch on the iPhone 12 mini
The notch on the iPhone 12 mini


There have been a number of rumors and reports suggesting Apple's Face ID sensor array could get smaller in size. If the sensors can be hidden behind the display or reduced in size, then the notch itself will get smaller too.

Now a new industry report from Digitimes claims that Apple could cut the die size for its VCSEL chips used for 3D Face ID scanning by up to 50%. This would be used in "new iPhone and iPad devices to be rolled out later in 2021."

Apple has already announced its updated iPad Pro lineup with no apparent changes to Face ID, but the upcoming "iPhone 13" could take advantage of the smaller sensor size.

Vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser, or VCSEL, is a sensor used to spray infrared dots over a surface in order to ascertain a 3D depth map. The report suggests Apple is reducing the size of the chip used in Face ID only, but the same type of chip is used for LiDAR on the rear of iPhones and iPads.

The reduction of the notch size has been rumored every year since the iPhone X was announced that introduced the Face ID system. Dummy models and schematic leaks make the notch reduction more likely than ever for the 2021 iPhone.

Digitimes has a strong track record for industry sources, though a substantially weaker one for correctly drawing conclusions from its information.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    indieshackindieshack Posts: 287member
    Thank God for that…
  • Reply 2 of 11
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 745member
    Ipad w large sides dont needed to be reduced I believe…., almost Non existent 
  • Reply 3 of 11
    kestralkestral Posts: 275member
    The people who right now say they don't notice the notch, or that it's iconic, or that it's not a big deal, will be first to say "Good riddance!" and "What an amazing innovation by Apple!" when it's removed. Fanboys.
    avon b7
  • Reply 4 of 11
    XedXed Posts: 1,068member
    kestral said:
    The people who right now say they don't notice the notch, or that it's iconic, or that it's not a big deal, will be first to say "Good riddance!" and "What an amazing innovation by Apple!" when it's removed. Fanboys.
    It's not a big deal, but that doesn't mean a smaller notch won't be welcome. What you fail to understand is that it's not a big deal because the alternative is not having Face ID. Now getting rid of Face ID because you have a problem with the fucking notch… now that would be a big deal.
    edited May 14 mike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,780member
    Thank God for that…

    Why is that such a big deal?!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 564member
    The size of the projector and sensors isn't the limiting factor of the size of the notch, the rangefinder base is. Face ID works with parallax. One part (the VCSEL mentioned in the article) emits a grid of dots with known properties. Another part (the IR camera) measures the deflection of those dots from where they should be. The less distance between the dot projector and the camera recording its pattern, the less deflection there is for a given change in depth.

    Making the notch narrower while retaining the same depth precision would require a far sharper camera sensor, though only in one dimension. If Apple moved to non-square pixels for the Face ID camera and doubled the horizontal pixel count, they would be able to reduce the width of the notch.
    tokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    pulseimagespulseimages Posts: 430member
    So the iPhone 13 won’t have Touch-ID? 
  • Reply 8 of 11
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,562member
    kestral said:
    The people who right now say they don't notice the notch, or that it's iconic, or that it's not a big deal, will be first to say "Good riddance!" and "What an amazing innovation by Apple!" when it's removed. Fanboys.

    It will be an innovation because the bitch is APPLE’s innovation in the first place. Remember iKnockoff morons mocking the notch?

    Remember when the notch was copied by the knockoffs (for no reason other than to copy) and they moved the goalposts to say Apple was the one that copied a camera hole(not even a notch) from some nobody brand?

    Yet when Samsung introduced a CAMERA HOLE, they claimed it was a new innovation?

    See the hypocrisy?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,934member
    Beats said:
    kestral said:
    The people who right now say they don't notice the notch, or that it's iconic, or that it's not a big deal, will be first to say "Good riddance!" and "What an amazing innovation by Apple!" when it's removed. Fanboys.

    It will be an innovation because the bitch is APPLE’s innovation in the first place. Remember iKnockoff morons mocking the notch?

    Remember when the notch was copied by the knockoffs (for no reason other than to copy) and they moved the goalposts to say Apple was the one that copied a camera hole(not even a notch) from some nobody brand?

    Yet when Samsung introduced a CAMERA HOLE, they claimed it was a new innovation?

    See the hypocrisy?
    A notch is a notch is a notch.

    A camera hole is a camera hole.

    No goalposts need to be moved. 

    The first notches were on phones like the Sharp models. Yes, they only held the front camera system but they were notches nevertheless and in the purest sense, too. Some models didn't even have an earpiece in the notch. It was in the screen. 

    The more you try to cram into a notch, the wider it gets. That's life. That's how Apple ended up with the huge notch it has now.

    It's a design option and comes with tradeoffs but it is only an option. Exactly the same applies to having the screen earpiece serve as the earpiece. 

    Apart from the Sharp phones, notches were implemented by some Android brands too. Most of them were actually housing useful components and, depending on those components, were wider or narrower. Some actually probably held more components than the iPhone and were even smaller to boot. Apple should have reduced the notch size years ago. 

    The iPhone notch is not iconic. Today, it even looks dated (as do the bezels). Hole punches and pill cutouts have largely displaced notches for aesthetic value in the wider smartphone industry. However, it all boils down to options, taste or preference in the end. Apple has stuck with it. Basically, you have no option with iPhones. Just like you have to make do without an in screen fingerprint scanner too. 

    Now, to be realistic, I can only think of one major Android manufacturer that literally copied the iPhone notch. That was Xiaomi and AFAIK, on just one or two models! Remind me how many models Xiaomi puts out a year. Yeah! your general statement is sinking fast.

    The same applies to the mocking. That definitely wasn't a general Android manufacturer claim. What was it? Just Samsung? Maybe. 

    The point is, your blanket statements are simply wrong. 
  • Reply 10 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,824member
    kestral said:
    The people who right now say they don't notice the notch, or that it's iconic, or that it's not a big deal, will be first to say "Good riddance!" and "What an amazing innovation by Apple!" when it's removed. Fanboys.
    Or, reasonable people realize it's not a big deal because it functions just fine with it, but welcome its reduction and eventual possible removal because that's a preferable solution over what's possible right now. More screen real estate is a plus, that doesn't mean the notch is a problem.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    mike1 said:
    Thank God for that…

    Why is that such a big deal?!
    Because he read somewhere, probably here, that it’s a big deal. 
    watto_cobra
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