Both developing ToF modules for Galaxy S11
South Korean camera module manufacturer Namuga will be supplying most of the Time of Flight modules fitted into the Galaxy Note 10 smartphones that Samsung Electronics plans to unveil next month.
Industry sources said on July 2 that Namuga will supply around 70% of the modules, while its rival Partron will be supplying another 30%. Samsung Electro-Mechanics uses them to manufacture the final module. Fitting the ToF module into a triple camera creates a quad camera module.
ToF modules employs time-of-flight techniques to resolve distance between the camera and the subject for each point of the image. This allows users to experience AR or VR technologies without having to physically touch the product.
Samsung Electronics first mounted the ToF module onto its Galaxy S10 5G model launched in the first half of this year. Partron and China’s Sunny Optical supplied the modules for the front and rear cameras.
Industry watchers say that Namuga is now betting big on ToF modules to supply more for the Galaxy S11. On June 27, the firm said it was investing 15 billion won ($12.8 million) into building a third factory in Vietnam to add more lines for 3D sensors and multi-cameras.
“We’re developing ToF modules for the Galaxy S11, but nothing has been confirmed yet,” said one Namuga official. “If we do well with the Note series, then it’s not going to be hard to supply more ToF modules for the S11.”
Partron is also developing ToF modules for the Galaxy S11, but the firm said it was not too concerned about the module deal with Samsung.
“ToF doesn’t account for too much of our camera module sales,” said one Partron executive. “Galaxy Note doesn’t sell that well anyway, and we have no idea how much ToF module supplies Samsung will need.”
On average, the Galaxy S series sells better than the Galaxy Notes series.
Partron expects to hit 1 trillion won of revenues for the first time in six years on the increased supplies for multi-camera modules in Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones.
Another local manufacturer MCNEX also plans to produce ToF modules. MCNEX is building a 13 billion won plant in Vietnam for the production.
Namuga was established in 2004 by former employees of Samsung Electro-Mechanics. It got listed on the tech-heavy Kosdaq market in 2005 and posted revenues of 312.8 billion won last year, with an operating profit of 1.8 billion won.