Laser Arrays from ams Bring Face Recognition to Android-based Smartphones

Posted Jul 11, 2018 by ams AG

ams AG is now enabling the world’s first implementation of user face recognition in a smartphone based on the Android platform using its low-power IR VCSEL laser emitter, the PMSIL.

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 Mi8 SE models.