Galaxy S21 to lack ToF sensor due to inferior performance compared to Apple

Galaxy S20 UltraSupply: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

A brand new report from Korean publication The Elec means that the Galaxy S21 collection, very similar to the recently-released Note 20, will eschew the 3D time-of-flight (ToF) sensor discovered within the Galaxy S20 series in lieu of what’s seemingly to be laser autofocus.

The publication cites the inferior performance of Samsung’s sensor compared to Apple’s providing within the iPad Professional and the upcoming iPhone 12 as the explanation behind the transfer. Samsung additionally believes that there isn’t a ‘killer content material’ utilizing the sensor for AR or VR purposes for the time being.

On the technical facet, the disparity between Samsung and Apple’s choices stems from the underlying tech utilized by the sensor. Whereas Apple makes use of a ‘direct’ ToF sensor with a LiDAR module, Samsung’s sensor makes use of ‘oblique’ ToF. In consequence, Apple’s cameras have up to a 2x benefit in vary, capably measuring distances up to 6m, whereas Samsung’s sensor can solely obtain a spread of about 3m.

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Neither Samsung nor Apple immediately manufactures their ToF sensors, as a substitute shopping for the part from Sony. Sadly, nevertheless, Apple has an exclusivity contract with Sony for the direct ToF know-how, leaving solely the oblique variant out there for Samsung.

In consequence, the South Korean large is popping to its semiconductor division, which is now researching a brand new ToF sensor that may reportedly proceed to use the oblique ToF know-how however with a considerably higher measurement vary. If Samsung’s LSI division produces favorable outcomes, and ToF purposes in AR and VR enhance considerably, the corporate could resolve to convey the sensor again in future iterations of its telephones.

The subsequent-generation flagships from Samsung could have wonderful imaging chops nonetheless, with the S20 Extremely sensor rumored to function a mind-boggling 150MP primary camera.

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