LG Electronics and Infineon Technologies AG have teamed up to introduce leading edge Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology to smartphone selfie photo lovers world over.
Infineon’s REAL3TM image sensor chip will play a key role in the front-facing camera of the upcoming LG G8 ThinQ, to be unveiled in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress 2019. Building upon the combined expertise of Infineon and pmd technologies in algorithms for processed 3D point clouds (a set of data points in space produced by 3D scanning), the innovative sensor will deliver a new level of front camera capability in a smartphone.
“Keeping in mind LG’s goal to provide real value to its mobile customers, our newest flagship was designed with ToF technology from inception to give users a unique and secure verification system without sacrificing camera capabilities,” said Chang Ma, Senior Vice President And Head Of Product Strategy at LG Mobile Communications Company. “The LG G8 ThinQ featuring ToF will be the optimal choice for users in search of a premium smartphone that offers unmatched camera capabilities.”
While other 3D technologies utilize complex algorithms to calculate an object’s distance from the camera lens, the ToF image sensor chip delivers more accurate measurements by emitting and capturing infrared light as it is reflected off the subject. As a result, ToF is faster and more effective in ambient light, reducing the workload on the application processor thereby also reducing power consumption.
Due to its fast response speed, ToF technology is widely used in various biometric authentication methods, such as face-recognition. What’s more, because ToF sees objects in 3D and is not affected by light from external sources, it delivers an excellent recognition rate, both indoors and out, ideal for implementation in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.
The world’s leading manufacturer of power semiconductors, Infineon is also recognized for its technological excellence in sensor solutions. The German chip maker enables highly reliable automotive, power management and digital security applications. The company developed the ToF technology featured in the LG G8 ThinQ for use in both premium, high-end smartphones as well as mid-end devices.
“Infineon is poised to revolutionize the market,” said Andreas Urschitz, division president of Infineon’s Power Management & Multimarket division. “We have demonstrated service beyond the mere product level – specifically catering to phone OEMs, associated reference design houses and camera module manufacturers. Within five years, we expect 3D cameras to be found in most smartphones and Infineon will contribute a significant share.”
The upcoming LG flagship also boasts unique features made possible by ToF technology, such as enhanced Real Bokeh. Utilizing LG’s own camera algorithm, the 3D sensor can easily distinguish human subjects from background objects, allowing users to take more visually striking selfies with different degrees of blurring.