dToF likely to be mainstream 3D depth-sensing technology in 2021
Sean Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

Apple's adopting LiDAR based on dToF (direct time of flight) for iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPad (2020) is expected to prompt Android smartphone vendors to follow suit, likely to replace indirect ToF (iToF) to become the mainstream 3D depth-sensing technology in 2021.

While major Android phone vendors have integrated less expensive iToF technology with rear cameras, applications have been limited without significantly enhancing user experience. Since dToF can offer significant AR effects, phone vendors are expected to adopt it in place of iToF for their flagship smartphones beginning 2021, Digitimes Research believes.

dToF features low power consumption, resistance to ambient ligh interference, capability to cope with complicated scenarios and accurate ranging, but its technological barriers and production costs are higher.

iToF has higher resolution for 3D depth sensing and is supported by a mature supply chain for lower production cost but consumes more power.

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