LG InnoTek was supplying its 3D time of flight (ToF) module to Apple and Microsoft for their virtual reality (VR) headsets that are planned to launch next year, TheElec has learned.
The South Korean component maker already supplies its ToF modules for iPhones and iPad.
ToF modules shoot lasers to an object and calculate the distance between them by measuring how long it takes for the laser to bounce back.
The modules are needed for VR and augmented reality (AR) features.
LG InnoTek had supplied its ToF modules for the iPad Pro that launched last year as well as the Pro and Pro Max models of the iPhone 12 series.
It is also supplying the modules for the iPhone 13 series __ the lidar feature supports AR feature in a 5G environment.
The South Korean component maker was already supplying the modules for Facebook’s VR headset Oculus.
It is highly likely that LG InnoTek will be supplying its modules for Apple’s AR glass that is expected to launch in 2023.
Meanwhile, Samsung has first applied ToF modules in 2019 starting with the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note10. It applied them again on the Galaxy S20 series in 2020.
But it has not applied the technology since the Galaxy Note20 due to lack of content.
Samsung’s image sensors for the ToF technology is also considered lacking to Apple’s.
The South Korean tech giant’s image sensor for the ToF modules had used indirect ToF used sine waves and used the phase difference between when it was shot and when it returned. Apple’s shoot the pulse and measures the time it takes to return directly.
Cupertino had signed an exclusive deal with Sony to procure image sensors that can be used for direct ToF. Samsung has been forced to buy image sensors for indirect ToF from the Japanese tech giant because of this.
Samsung is currently developing its own image sensor for ToF that uses the direct method.