Ahead of the iPhone X pre-orders later this month, Fabless IC firm Himax Technologies has started shipping wafer-level optics (WLO) to Apple. The WLO chips are a key component for the TrueDepth camera used inside the iPhone X.
Himax has also partnered with ChipMOS Technologies to ensure it is able to supply Apple with the required amount of WLO chips. The companies expect their revenues to rise significantly in the second half of 2017 due to his. And with Android OEMs also working on their own facial recognition hardware, the demand for WLO chips are only going to increase in 2018 which in turn will benefit both Himax and ChipMOS For example, Qualcomm’s recently announced 3D fingerprint scanner was jointly developed in association with Himax.
The DigiTimes report also claims that Apple might delay the shipments of iPhone X or launch it in limited quantities initially due to yield issues. This is something that we have been hearing repeatedly from various sources with all fingers being pointed at the TrueDepth/Face ID camera module. Apple suppliers are struggling with the yield rates of the various components used inside the TrueDepth camera which is acting as a bottleneck for the iPhone X’s production. This shortage is expected to last well until the fall of next year.
While there has been a lot of hype around the TrueDepth camera and Face ID on the iPhone X, it remains to be seen how it performs in real life. With the iPhone X launch fast approaching, it is now only a matter of few weeks before this question is answered.