After oppo and vivo displayed engineering machines and millet popularized science for many times, ZTE mobile phone took the lead in releasing the industry's first 5g new machine equipped with under screen camera.
The obsession with off screen camera technology stems from the industry's aesthetic standard of mobile phone design philosophy, that is, simplicity and integration. In this respect, a high degree of consistency in the industry has led to the pursuit of "truly comprehensive screen", which has become a representative of the "technical muscle" of mobile phone manufacturers in the past two years. In the past year, the "special-shaped comprehensive screen" such as lifting screen, water drop screen and Liu Hai screen were the results of exploration by manufacturers, but they were certainly far from enough.
These technologies are not just directly "brought" from suppliers, but the result of joint efforts of the industrial chain.
"If the off screen camera technology only depends on the screen manufacturers themselves, it is basically impossible to complete. Because no matter how good the screen is provided, diffraction and interference problems will be faced in the process of ray penetration. This requires the screen factory to cooperate with the mobile phone manufacturer, and the whole machine factory provides algorithms to adjust accordingly. " An industry person told the 21st century economic reporter that this also led to the current market solution operators, basically a whole machine factory and a screen factory bound joint research and development state.
As the first commercial technology, ZTE shows full sincerity this time. 2100-2800 yuan price range can take all the storage configuration of the new model, attracting those who are willing to try.
"Today's off screen camera technology is a bit like the early folding screen technology." The above-mentioned person pointed out to the reporter, however, different from the lack of market interest due to the lack of application and landing, he thinks that with the maturity of the off screen camera scheme and the higher production yield, in the future, off screen photography will become a large-scale level similar to today's off screen optical fingerprint scheme.
So the question is, under the background of many large factories being pre researched, at what stage will you be willing to start one?
Various and parallel shooting schemes under the screen
In the past two years, under screen camera technology in different development stages has been demonstrated in MWC and the technology exhibition of manufacturers themselves in the form of engineering machines.
At that time, careful observation showed that the landing of the technology was still faced with the phenomenon of low pixels in photos, color blocks similar to "splicing" after calling the lens, and the manufacturers did not have a clear timetable for when to launch mass production.
This is due to the complexity of the implementation process. Although the off screen camera scheme and the off screen fingerprint identification technology, which has been quite mature in recent years, have similar source optical technology, but the technical difficulties of the two are quite different: the requirements of the off screen optical fingerprint on the light input, pixel quality, color and other aspects are far less than the off screen camera technology, which is exactly the core of the iteration in recent years Point.
Vicino related people introduced to the 21st century economic reporter that the biggest difficulty in the solution of off screen camera is the balance between display and transparency of sub screen. "This is not a numerical game, which aspect is the best to achieve the best, but it needs to be balanced and optimized, not only to achieve a high degree of consistency in the display, but also to make the front shot clear and natural."
The person said that in the early stage of the project, the company carried out exploration and verification of multi generation solutions at the same time, and multiple technical routes were developed in parallel. Therefore, in the process of accumulation technology, it can realize multiple generations of off screen camera solutions with different screen body, position and technology implementation path.
Cinno research told the 21st century economic reporter that the key technology in the realization of technology is to solve two problems: the clarity and distortion of photos. The former mainly increases luminous flux through material collocation, pixel design and camera sensitivity improvement; the distortion is mainly controlled by pixel design and algorithm optimization.
According to the patent layout and current plans of various manufacturers, there are various schemes in the market at present: microlens technology, transparent electrode, multi screen (film) and so on.
The microlens technology is to add microlens between pixels for imaging and improve luminous flux. The transparent electrode scheme uses special electrode material and design in the camera area. When the camera is needed, the area becomes transparent or nearly transparent, and achieves good photographic effect.
In contrast, there are more multi screen schemes on the market, such as using the dual screen scheme. When the camera needs to be photographed, the screen is removed by design, and the screen is restored and displayed normally when it is not needed.
In addition, reducing PPI (pixel density) technology is also one of the solutions, which mainly reduces PPI in the same size area, so as to improve the luminous flux.
"The core of the realization of off screen camera technology is the application of new transparent OLED devices, new driving circuits and pixel structures, the introduction of new materials with high transparency, and the" transformation "of the sub screen area of the camera under the screen. After the" transformation ", mass production can be realized through a new process and packaging method The above-mentioned vicino people further introduced.
Ni Fei, general manager of ZTE's terminal business unit, made an image metaphor based on a detail to show the difficulty in adjusting the details.
"The layout and size of pixels in the camera area under the screen are different from those in the conventional display area. We created the natural pixel arrangement technology. For example, if the conventional display area is a large force, then the camera area under the screen is the special forces. The independent chip is the commander, who gives the task of displaying or photographing to the driver circuit. These circuit instructors then pass instructions to the pixel soldiers in the special forces, so that the screen in the image area under the screen can display normally without taking pictures, and keep transparent when taking pictures. " He pointed out.
Mass business is just around the corner
Looking back at the homologous off screen fingerprint technology, it has experienced several experience iterations in the early stage. After commercial mass production, manufacturers still need to continue to develop to improve the time-consuming and accuracy of identification and unlocking.
Therefore, it is not difficult to understand that the experience requires more than one order of magnitude higher than that of off-screen camera technology.
Vicino related people pointed out to reporters that in the future, it will continue to optimize relevant technologies, polish with various terminal manufacturers under the balance of display and transparency, and continue to improve the display and photo taking effect through the optimization of screen technology, system UI and camera algorithm optimization.
"The new test of this technology is still coming from the application of technology and materials." It added that this not only needs to achieve a balance between transparency and display, but also to achieve a high degree of consistency in the appearance of the screen in terms of color, brightness and even from all perspectives, and achieve the goal of mass production, which requires full confidence in technical details and supply chain grasp.
Of course, at present, ZTE's determination to launch the new aircraft for commercial use means that the commercial mass production of this technology has reached a certain critical period under some current technical routes.
"From the beginning to the maturity, the off screen camera technology has experienced the process of low sensitivity, rough picture, color distortion, etc. after the screen body design, mechanism, photosensitive element, chip development integration and algorithm optimization, to date, it has formed a relatively mature technology." Cinno research commented to reporters.
Vicino summed up that in the iterative process of off screen camera technology, due to the "transformation" of the sub screen area, it has gone through a series of processes from the most basic lighting, display, static display, dynamic display and transparency enhancement, and finally it can present the technical achievements of consistent display and transparent shooting. In this process, we should also explore the feasibility of mass production and realize the transformation of innovation.
Of course, some of them are still in the process of exploration. For example, in the driver chip, it may not have reached the level of perfect control.
Vicino related people told reporters that in terms of display, the main and auxiliary screens share a chip driver, and carry out algorithm processing. This scheme can make the main screen and transparent screen display synchronous, and make the display effect consistent.
"The main screen and secondary screen are more transparent, which makes the main screen and secondary screen more natural Its continued name.
Cinno research told reporters that the integrated driver chip may not necessarily be the inevitable route at present. In the future, it is expected to integrate in the direction of integrated chip, but the integrated solution is still in the process of verification, and the stability needs to be confirmed.
In the final analysis, mobile phone manufacturers jointly choose to seek commercial off-screen camera technology in the face of high difficulty, or because of the current front camera layout, which inevitably affects the visual effect and application. For example, the hole screen in some reading process of the occlusion problem, the lifting screen to bring mobile phone thickness greatly increased and so on.
This is consistent with the fact that 5g mobile phones are increasingly pursuing light and thin. It is just that the off screen optical fingerprint technology scheme now appears a more obvious centralized situation, and the route of off screen camera technology is worthy of further attention.