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10 July 2018

ams’ IR VCSEL arrays bring face recognition for first time to Android-based smartphones

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

ams of Premstaetten, Austria, which designs and makes high-performance sensor and analog solutions, a supplier of high performance sensor solutions, says that its PMSIL low-power IR VCSEL laser emitter is enabling what is reckoned to be the first implementation of user face recognition in a smartphone based on the Android platform.

The Mi8 Explorer Edition, the new flagship smartphone from the fast-growing Chinese brand Xiaomi, includes a face recognition system that uses infrared (IR) vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) arrays from ams. The PMSIL is a complete VCSEL flood illuminator system with integrated eye-safety interlock, offering very high optical efficiency and minimizing the drain on the phone’s battery when emitting.

The PMSIL incorporates the emitter die and a diffuser in its compact 3mm x 3mm x 1mm package. It features high spectral stability over temperature, as well as a narrow spectral width of <1nm. The engineered beam profile can be precisely configured to the needs of specific smartphone applications.

In the Mi8 Explorer Edition, the PMSIL operates in always-on mode for face detection and recognition. The IR VCSEL emitter in the structured lighting system, the CS115, is also supplied by ams. The IR emitter is an IR chip-on-substrate VCSEL array, and has a small footprint and high optical efficiency.

ams says that its VCSEL technology is the result of 15 years of development that has resulted in many optimizations of the VCSEL fabrication process technology, materials and packaging. Customers can also draw on what is claimed to be the industry’s most comprehensive and exhaustively validated test data and performance models, providing predictable performance characterizations and accurate quality and reliability data.

The ams relationship with Xiaomi extends beyond the provision of IR laser arrays: ams also supplies the TMD27253 ambient light sensor and proximity detection module in the Mi8 and Mi8SE models.

“Xiaomi is a stand-out performer in the Chinese smartphone market and, increasingly, globally because of its bold and innovative design approach and its ability to implement advanced technologies in beautiful, sleek phones,” comments Hui Nie, general manager for the VCSEL product line at ams. “To fit the slim, bezel-less design of the Mi8 Explorer Edition, Xiaomi’s designers wanted to build the smallest possible face recognition system, which led them to evaluate the ams IR VCSEL arrays,” he adds.

See related items:

ams further expands Singapore manufacturing capacity to address demand for optical sensors

VCSEL firm Princeton Optronics to be acquired by Austria’s ams

Princeton Optronics launches ultra-high-reliability 8W VCSEL arrays for 3D sensing, imaging and gesture recognition

Tags: Princeton Optronics VCSEL

Visit: www.ams.com

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