LG has recently partnered with Infineon Technologies to introduce new technology into its upcoming LG G8 ThinQ smartphone. The companies are looking towards Time-of-Flight (ToF) to gain a competitive edge in imaging – something that LG claims will suit selfie and photo fans.
In the brutal and bitter battle towards market share supremacy in the smartphone sector, manufacturers have been faced with increasing challenges. Processing chips have been getting smaller and more powerful and more cameras have been packed into smartphones phones but aside from that, little innovation has been found.
What is ToF and is it Better?
LG’s move towards ToF technology isn’t exactly new (and in fact, ToF isn’t limited to smartphone cameras) but it is one of a handful to leverage on this angle. Currently, both Oppo and Honor also use ToF technology in limited phone models.
While other 3D technologies make use of complex algorithms to calculate an object’s distance from the camera lens, ToF delivers more accurate measurements by 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.
The fast speed that ToF offers also allows it to be used in other applications such as biometric authentication like 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.
In short, ToF is simpler, more efficient and faster.
How Infineon is Involved with LG and ToF
Infineon’s REAL3 image sensor chip will play the starring protagonist in the front-facing camera of the upcoming LG G8 ThinQ. The phone will be shown off this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and hopefully, demonstrate a new level of front camera capability in a smartphone.
As a 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.”
“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.”
What This Means for the LG G8 ThinQ
ThinQ has traditionally been top-of-the-line for LG and while we do not have official data for the model yet, this first snippet of news is at the very least… different. Aside from ToF, it is likely that the G8 will sport a high end Snapdragon processor such as the 855.
With a snappy processor, excellent imaging and possibly a 4k resolution display, technically the LG G8 Think can be expected to offer monster performance.
Our other recent coverage on LG:
CES 2019: LG CTO Advocates Greater Role for Consumer AI