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LG Innotek Begins Mass Production of “ToF Module” for Smart Phones

2019. 02. 20.

LG Innotek today announced that it will begin to mass produce ToF (Time of Flight; measuring of flight-time distance) module for smartphone to secure the leading position in the high-tech 3D sensing component market. G8ThinQ, a new LG Electronics flagship smartphone to be released on the 24th, houses this ToF module on the front.

ToF module is a high-tech 3D sensing component which perceives three-dimensionality, spatial information, and movement of an object by using the distance calculated based on the return time of the light shot towards and bounces off of a target object.

The distance range a ToF module can cover for 3D sensing is long. It consumes less electric power than other 3D technology and can be made slim; therefore, it is very suitable for mounting onto a smart phone. Furthermore, this module can be used to carry out various functions for biometric verification, motion sensing, artificial reality, and virtual reality, etc. Thus, it is increasingly becoming a key component for products that seek to deliver differen-tiated user experience.

LG Innotek envisions that, along with the smart phone camera module business, it will grow the business of producing 3D sensing modules like the ToF module to be the next generation leading business and take the top spot in the global market. It has already laid the foundation for the business by acquiring R&D and production capabilities. It has also partnered up with various global companies and is showing confidence that it will become a market leader.

The company is paying attention to 3D sensing because the company believes it to be an innovative piece of technology with great market potential. In fact, 3D sensing is being con-sidered a ground-breaking technology that can replace the touch technology to dramatically improve digital devices and deliver better user experience.

For example, if 3D sensing is applied to smart phones, users can conveniently operate vari-ous functions without actually touching their devices. That is because 3D sensing module can detect the specific features and movements of one’s face or hands to carry out certain commands, such as switching the screen. So, there would also be no need to take your gloves off to touch the smart phone screen in freezing cold weather.

Furthermore, 3D sensing can be easily applied to PCs, wearable devices, home electronics, and automobiles. When used in automobiles, instead of trying to find and press various con-trol buttons while driving, the driver can use hand gestures to control functions like the AC and GPS navigation. Since drivers won’t have to take their eyes off the road, this would greatly improve driving safety.

The future of 3D sensing module production market is bright. According to Yole Dévelopment, a global market research company, the global market size of 3D image processing and sensing devices will see a three-fold increase from USD 2.9 billion in 2018 to become USD 9 billion by 2022.

LG Innotek is speeding up the expansion of its 3D sensing module business. It already has secured the world-class level R&D competitiveness.

What is more, The Company is expanding upon and applying the key technology for and success know-hows gained from the camera module business, a category in which the com-pany is currently dominating the global market. Both product categories rely on using the optical technology as their key foundation, so the company can expect to see great synergis-tic effects between the two businesses in terms of product design, production process, and marketing.

In addition, LG Innotek has internalized key component technology necessary for 3D sensing modules, such as light source technology and lens technology, to further enhance its competitive edge. All of these are the reasons why the company can custom develop the modules for its clients and provide a steady supply.

LG Innotek official said, “3D sensing module is an innovative next-generation 3D-based input device that can take a mobile phone’s functionality to the next level from where it is currently with the use of existing 2D-based input technology like the touch technology.” He also added, “It will provide a new value proposition to consumers via integration with the camera.”

 

 

Photo 1) LG Innotek’s ToF Module

 

Photo 2) LG Innotek’s ToF Module