New ToF camera manufacturing plant built to meet Samsung’s demand
In anticipation of high demand from Samsung, South Korean camera module manufacturer MCNEX is reportedly expanding its business with the construction of a new plant in Vietnam. With a focus on manufacturing ToF (Time-of-Flight) sensors, the new plant will serve Samsung in bringing this technology in the hands of more customers later this year.
The camera manufacturer has reportedly made a 13 billion won ($11.2 million) investment in the new plant and expects mass production of ToF sensors to commence in August-September. The report from South Korea mentions that the ToF modules soon-to-be manufactured by MCNEX will be employed by the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. But MCNEX might not be the only company involved with supplying ToF cameras for the upcoming phablet or other future smartphone models.
ToF sensors enable real-time 3D tracking by measuring the time it takes for a beam of light to be reflected back from a surface, allowing one to have background blur in videos and use their phone in augmented reality (AR) apps. For example, Samsung’s Quick Measure app on the Galaxy S10 5G lets you calculate the size of real-world objects and also measure their distance from the device.
Both the front and rear-facing ToF cameras featured on the Galaxy S10 5G were reportedly supplied by another electronics component manufacturing company located in South Korea, called Partron. Reportedly, Partron will continue to be involved but will only be required to supply the rear-facing ToF sensor, while the front-facing modules will be manufactured by MCNEX in its new plant in Vietnam.
Oddly, going by leaked renders, the Galaxy Note 10 doesn’t have a front-facing ToF sensor on either the regular or Pro models, making us wonder what device the ToF sensors made at the new will be for. Even a rear-facing ToF sensor is only expected on the Note 10 Pro (and the 5G model), so perhaps Samsung will also task MCNEX with making ToF sensors for the Galaxy S10 5G and other phones, like the upcoming Galaxy A90.
The Galaxy Note 10 will reportedly be unveiled on August 7, and the timing seems to fit perfectly with MCNEX’s plans for pushing its ToF modules into mass production in August-September.