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Mantis Vision’s 3D Depth Sensing System in the Xiaomi Mi8 Explorer Edition

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3D Face recognition technology

The first introduction of Mantis Vision’s technology into a mobile application, featuring coded structured light.

Following the lead of Oppo, one of its major competitors in China, Xiaomi has introduced 3D depth sensing hardware in a special version of its latest flagship cellphone, the Mi8 Explorer Edition. Unlike Apple, which relies on high dynamic range sensors, or Oppo, which relies on a special system-on-chip that uses Orbbec’s in-house algorithms, Xiaomi has chosen Mantis Vision’s solution and its coded structured light to provide the 3D sensing capability. The 3D systems comprise a dot projector and a camera module assembly configuration. On the receiver side, the near infrared (NIR) image is captured by a global shutter (GS) NIR camera module.


3D Face Recognition technology


The front optical hub is packaged in one metal enclosure, featuring several cameras and sensors. The complete system features a red-green-blue (RGB) camera module, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor. The 3D depth sensing system comprises the NIR camera module, the flood illuminator and the dot projector.

This report will be focused on the analysis of the 3D depth sensing systems. All components are standard products that can be readily found in the market. That includes a GS image sensor featuring 3µm x 3µm pixels and standard resolution of one megapixel and two vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs), one for the dot projector and one for the flood illuminator. Both are from the same supplier. Both the camera and dot projector use standard camera module assemblies with wire bonding and optical modules featuring lenses. In order to provide coded structured light features, a mask is integrated into the dot projector structure.

This report analyzes the complete 3D depth sensing system, including a complete analysis of the NIR camera module, and the dot projector, along with cost analysis and price estimation for the system. It also includes a physical and technical comparison with the 3D sensing systems from Apple in the iPhone X and from Oppo in the Find X.


  3D depth sensing systems 3D vision system cost analysis and price estimation Xiaomi Mi8 Explorer 3D Face Recognition














Table of contents



Mantis Vision Company Profile


Xiaomi Mi8 Explorer Edition – Teardown and Market Analysis


Physical Analysis

> Physical Analysis Methodology

> NIR Camera Module Disassembly and Cross-Section

> Sensor Die

- View, dimensions, pixels, pads, markings, die process and cross-section

> DOT Projector Module Disassembly and Cross-Section

> Mask Die

- View, dimensions, die process and cross-section


- View, dimensions, die process and cross-section

> Physical Data Summary


























































Physical Comparison: Apple iPhone X, Oppo Find X

> System Integration

> NIR Camera Module and Sensor

> Dot Projector Module and VCSEL



Manufacturing Process Flow

> Die Fabrication Unit : NIR Image Sensor, NIR VCSEL, Orbbec SoC

> NIR VCSEL Process Flow



Cost Analysis

> Cost Analysis Overview

> Supply Chain Description and Yield Hypotheses

> NIR Image Camera Module Cost

- Front-end (FE), microlens and total FE cost

- Wafer and die cost

- Lens module and assembly cost

> NIR VCSEL Die Cost

- Front-end (FE), wafer and die cost

- Front-end cost per process steps

- Lens module and assembly cost

> Mask Die Cost

- Front-end (FE), wafer and die cost


Estimated Price Analysis: NIR Camera Module, DOT Projector Module and Optical Hub


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

  • Materials analysis

  • Manufacturing process flow

  • Supply chain evaluation

  • Manufacturing cost analysis

  • Estimated sales price