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ams laser arrays bring face recognition to Android-based smartphones

Xiaomi’s new Mi8 smartphone uses miniature ams VCSEL arrays for high efficiency always-on face recognition system

Premstaetten, Austria (9 July, 2018) — ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, today announced that its low-power IR VCSEL laser emitter, the PMSIL, is enabling the world’s 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 which 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, and a narrow spectral width of <1nm. Its 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 is also notable for its small footprint and high optical efficiency.

ams’ VCSEL technology is the result of 15 years of development which has resulted in numerous optimizations of the VCSEL fabrication process technology, materials and packaging. Customers can also draw on 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,” said Hui Nie, General Manager for product line VCSEL 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. Once they tested the power consumption of the ams devices against that of competing products, the overall superiority of the ams parts became very clear.”

About ams

ams is a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced sensor solutions. Our mission is to shape the world with sensor solutions by providing a seamless interface between humans and technology.

ams’ high-performance sensor solutions drive applications requiring small form factor, low power, highest sensitivity and multi-sensor integration. Products include sensor solutions, sensor ICs, interfaces and related software for consumer, communications, industrial, medical, and automotive markets.

With headquarters in Austria, ams employs 11,000 people globally and serves more than 8,000 customers worldwide. ams is listed on the SIX Swiss stock exchange (ticker symbol: AMS). More information about ams can be found at www.ams.com

Join ams social media channels:

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About Xiaomi

Xiaomi was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun, who believes that high-quality technology doesn’t need to cost a fortune. We create remarkable hardware, software and internet services for and with the help of our Mi fans. We incorporate their feedback into our product range. Xiaomi is expanding its footprint across the world to become a global brand.

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