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iPhone X launch supply set to improve as a key Face ID part starts shipping

2017 October 12
by RSS Feed

Another significant bottleneck in mass production of the TrueDepth camera system for iPhone X has been removed with news that Taiwanese supplier Himax Technologies has now started shipments of a key Face ID component to Apple.

Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Thursday that the Face ID sensor relies on Himax’s chips which are based on wafer-level optics technology (WLO).

Back in March, Barrons reported that the OLED iPhone would use Himax was contracted to build a chip for an Apple-designed 3D depth-sensing module. Another supplier, Taiwan’s ChipMOS Technologies, has partnered with Himax for iPhone X’s WLO chips.

Both vendors should enjoy a pull-in of orders for WLO chips in 2018, when Android vendors are expected to follow suit by equipping their 2018 phones with iPhone X-like facial recognition features based on depth sensing.

Qualcomm’s recently-announced 3D depth sensing solution, for instance, was jointly developed with Himax and, of course, targeted at the Android camp. Analysts have cautioned that iPhone X supply could be constrained due to yield problems with TrueDepth camera parts.

However, that may not be the case after all given the promising outlook for WLO chip demand and the fact that Android vendors are clamoring to copy Apple’s TrueDepth invention.

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