With its choice of a dual camera, Apple’s innovations include new objectives lens assemblies, new bonding processes and a new type of autofocus
In the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple introduced a new rear camera module. Like its competitors LG and Huawei, they have chosen to integrate a dual camera. The module features two sensors, one closed to the sensor in the previous flagship, and another with a totally new structure.
Competition for the best camera phone was revived by Huawei with its flagship, the P9, using a dual camera. Like the other main players except Samsung, Apple has now introduced a dual camera module. This module integrates two 12 megapixel resolution CMOS Image Sensors (CISs) from Sony, using Exmor-RS Technology. The wide-angle objective lens assembly features an aperture of f/1.8 and a pixel size of 1.22 µm. The telephoto has a pixel size of 1 µm but a smaller aperture of f/2.8.
The iPhone 7 Plus dual camera module, with dimensions of 20.6 x 10.0 x 5.9 mm, is equipped with two sub-modules each including a Sony CIS. The wide-angle module is equipped with an optical image stabilization (OIS) voice coil motor (VCM), while the telephoto only comes with a general VCM. The CISs are assembled using a flip-chip process on a ceramic substrate with a gold stud bumping process.
With this new dual camera module and Sony’s Exmor-RS technology, Apple has innovated its offering in areas including phase detection autofocus (PDAF), its objective lens assembly structure, its sensor, and adopts a second generation of through-silicon vias (TSVs). Surprisingly both logic circuit sensors for controlling PDAF are very similar.
The report includes technology and cost analysis of the iPhone 7 Plus dual camera module. Also, comparisons with the Huawei P9, Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6S rear camera modules are provided. These comparisons highlight differences in structures, technical choices and manufacturing cost.
Overview / Introduction
Dual Camera Module Supply Chain and Company Profile
iPhone 7 Plus Teardown
> Physical Analysis Methodology> Dual Camera Module View and Dimensions> Dual Camera Module Disassembly> Cross-Section of the Dual Camera Module, Housing, Flex PCB, and IR Filter> Comparison With Apple iPhone 6S Plus Structure - CMOS Image Sensors - View and dimensions - Pads and tungsten grid - CIS pixels> Cross-Section of the CMOS Image Sensor - Overview - Pixel array and logic circuit> Comparison of Right / Left CMOS Image Sensors> Comparison With Huawei P9, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Apple iPhone 6S Plus
CIS Manufacturing Process Flow
> Overview> Logic Circuit Front-End, Pixel Array Circuit Process> BSI + TSV + Microlens Processes / Wide angle & Telephoto CIS> CIS Wafer Fabrication Unit
> Yield Hypotheses> CMOS Image Sensor Cost> Wide angle CMOS Image Sensor / Telephoto CMOS Image Sensor - Front-end costs: logic circuit, pixel array, BSI and TSV Color filter and Microlens - Total front-end cost - Back-end: tests and dicing - CIS wafer and die cost> Dual Camera Module Assembly Cost> Lens Module Cost> AFA Cost> Final Assembly Cost> Dual Camera Module Cost
Estimated Price Analysis
Comparison with Huawei P9, Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6S Plus cost
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Manufacturing process flow
Supply chain evaluation
Manufacturing cost analysis
Estimated sales price
Comparison with Samsung Galaxy S7 & iPhone 6S camera module