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Apple iPhone X – Infrared Dot Projector

3 990 €

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Apple iPhone X Heptagon DOT Projector System Plus Consulting couv flyerThe world’s most advanced dot projector for 3D sensing with four innovative parts: Its package; a dedicated VCSEL; a folded optic; and the active DOE.

Apple has made a great technology choice with its 3D facial identification for the iPhone X. The new technology is presented as being 20 times more accurate than the older fingerprint approach with a one-in-a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone.

The underlying 3D imaging technology is called “Structured light” and uses a set of projected “dots” unto the face of the user. Biometric face authentication allows the screen to be unlocked very fast, and eliminates the need for finger use, entering passwords or patterns.


Apple iPhone X Heptagon DOT Projector System Plus Consulting 1


The IR Dot Projector is the structured light emitter of the 3D camera system called “True Depth” by Apple, that recognises users.

This report is focused on the illumination module which includes 4 innovative sub-parts:

  • Its packaging exploits a novel thermal management approach with ceramic substrate inserted
  • Its NIR vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) diode with a dedicated light emission profile driven by a Broadcom integrated circuit
  • A folded optical path using wafer level optic
  • Its active diffractive optical element (DOE)


The report provides a complete process reverse engineering of the complex module with a detailed analysis of the supply chain.

This report describes the full system’s technology and manufacturing process, including the package, VCSEL, electronics, the folded optic and the DOE. It estimates the manufacturing cost and price for the Dot Projector and compares it with other 3D sensors, such as Intel’s Real Sense, and the sensor pmd provides Lenovo.














Table of contents

Overview / Introduction


Company Profile

> Heptagon, Lumentum
> Apple 3D Tri-Camera System
> Apple iPhone X Teardown


Physical Analysis

> Overview of the Physical Analysis
> Physical Analysis Methodology
> Dot Projector
- Dot projector views and dimensions
- Dot projector disassembly: Lenses, active DOE, NIR VCSEL, package
> Package
- View, dimensions and marking
- Cross-section
- Process characteristics
- Die view, dimensions and marking
- Wire bonding and cavity
- Cross-section
- Process characteristics
> Folded Optic
- View, dimensions and marking
- Disassembly and main block identification
- Lens cross-section






















> Active DOE
- DOE dimensions, disassembly and main block identification, cross-section
> Comparison: Apple Dot Projector, Intel Real Sense, pmd/Infineon

Manufacturing Process Flow

> Global Overview of the Dot Projector
> NIR VCSEL Front-End Process
> NIR VCSEL Wafer Fabrication Unit
> Folded Optic Wafer Process Flow
> Folded Optic Wafer Fabrication Unit
> DOE Wafer Process Flow
> DOE Wafer Fabrication Unit
> Package Process & Assembly Unit


Cost Analysis 

> Overview of the Cost Analysis
> Yields Explanation and Hypotheses
> Integrated Circuit Cost
> Folded Optic Cost
> DOE Active Cost
> Package Assembly & Test Cost
> Dot Projector Cost


Estimated Price Analysis


Company Services



































About the authors


System Plus Consulting specializes in the cost analysis of electronics, from semiconductor devices to electronic systems.

Created more than 20 years ago, System Plus Consulting has developed a complete range of services, costing tools and reports to deliver in-depth production cost studies and estimate the objective selling price of a product.

System Plus Consulting engineers are experts in:

  • Integrated Circuits 
  • Power Devices & Modules 
  • MEMS & Sensors
  • Photonics 
  • LED 
  • Imaging 
  • Display 
  • Packaging 
  • Electronic Boards & Systems.

Through hundreds of analyses performed each year, System Plus Consulting offers deep added-value reports to help its customers understand their production processes and determine production costs. Based on System Plus Consulting’s results, manufacturers are able to compare their production costs to those of competitors.

System Plus Consulting is a sister company of Yole Développement.

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  • Detailed photos

  • Precise measurements

  • Material analysis

  • Manufacturing process flow

  • Supply chain evaluation
  • Manufacturing cost analysis

  • Estimated sales price