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Apple is intending to use a significantly smaller Face ID sensor chip in iPhones and iPads from late this year onwards, according to DigiTimes.

face-id-scan.jpg

Apple has reportedly chosen to scale down the die size of the VCSEL chips used in Face ID's scanner. The move will help Apple cut production costs since more chips can be produced on one wafer, reducing total wafer output.

The redesigned VCSEL chip may allow Apple to integrate new functions into the component, but DigiTimes did not speculate on what these could include. The change may also free up internal space.

The smaller Face ID chip will apparently be used in new iPhone and iPad devices released from late 2021 onwards. The first devices to feature the new chip will presumably be the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, as well as the next generation of iPad Pro models.

DigiTimes previously said the notch on the iPhone 13 models will "shrink" in size, becoming smaller thanks to a redesigned camera module that integrates the Rx, Tx, and flood illuminator to allow for the size reduction. Barclays analysts have similarly explained that a smaller notch on iPhone 13 models will be the result of a "more tightly integrated version of the current structured light system" for Face ID. It is not clear if the smaller, more consolidated Face ID technologies in the iPhone 13 are related to this smaller VCSEL chip.

Article Link: Apple Making Face ID Sensor Chip Smaller on Upcoming iPhones and iPads
 

calstanford

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2014
960
2,984
Hong Kong
I wonder why they even bother. That one or two mm won't make any kind of difference. If they were getting rid of it completely, now THAT would be another story. But yea making it thinner to gain like 20 pixels of screen real estate. Erm okay.
 

gimmesomemo

macrumors member
Feb 3, 2010
48
61
I just wish they could make it work from more of an angle, and while they’re at it make the iPhone work on different orientations like the iPad. Sure you don’t need it upside down like what might happen occasionally on the iPad, but landscape would be nice. Don’t care too much about notch size unless they get rid of it, eyes are completely used to it - and they would get used to it if it was slightly smaller too.
 
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wesley96

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2009
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I wonder why they even bother. That one or two mm won't make any kind of difference. If they were getting rid of it completely, now THAT would be another story. But yea making it thinner to gain like 20 pixels of screen real estate. Erm okay.
From the article:
The move will help Apple cut production costs since more chips can be produced on one wafer, reducing total wafer output.
I’d wager that alone will give Apple the reason to bother pursuing it.

Also, it’s a process and progress thing as well. To get to the no-notch FaceID design it’s easier if you iteratively go for smaller designs first. And make money along the way.
 

CookiMonster

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2014
1
0
I hope this means that they don't have to put the speaker at the top. I didn't like the look of that mock-up in the Unbox Therapy video with metal or plastic surrounding the speaker.

I thought maybe the speaker at the top would have the screen curved so that it would not hit the steel edge of the iPhone.
 

cheekypaul

macrumors member
Apr 22, 2005
76
6
Apples notch incorporation was a design decision, an abomination, but deliberate all the same. The discussion of a shrinking notch due to new materials is back to front thinking.
 
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GuruZac

macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2015
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Seems like the iPhone 13/13Pro are worth the wait coming from an 11 Pro. Was really thinking about the Mini but I use my 2x zoom lens quite a bit and the Pros will have more RAM (less app refreshes) and 120Hz displays which would be kind of nice. Another cool surprise would be TouchID integrated in to the power button like on the iPad Air on top of FaceID but would not hold my breath on that since we’ve heard no rumors. The smaller notch is cool but neither here nor there for me. Never minded it in the first place.
 

Defender2010

macrumors 68040
Jun 6, 2010
3,110
1,058
England
Jeepers! How many times must the same story be recycled? We already know this - months ago. Well done Digitimes for catching up! 👏
 

MisterSavage

macrumors 68030
Nov 10, 2018
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I don’t mind the notch, but the smaller one this year will be a nice change to get some extra information around the top but the end goal is to have underscreen TouchID.

Same. I don't even "see" the notch when I'm using my iPhone the majority of the time but it will be nice not to read notch complaints anymore on here.
 
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alexandr

macrumors 68030
Nov 11, 2005
2,695
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I've never really understood all the loathing of the notch, it mostly blends in during use for me. Once it's gone, iPhones will just look like all the other notch-less screens.
yea, me neither. i guess the only time it's kind of annoying is when you're watching a video or playing a game full screen, but people need to get over themselves — you're watching hd video on a god damn phone!
 
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MrGimper

macrumors 604
Sep 22, 2012
7,134
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Andover, UK
How does increasing the number of chips attained from a wafer result in "reducing total wafer output"?
If you need 900 chips, and the yield was 300 a wafer, that’s 3 wafers. If the yield is now 450 a wafer, that’s 2 wafers. A reduction of 1 wafer.

I know the actual chips-per-wafer ratios are orders of magnitude higher, but you get the concept.
 
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