Corning has developed a new glass composite material that it claims will both reduce scratching and improve light transmission for smartphone camera systems.
Corning Gorilla Glass with DX and Corning Gorilla Glass with DX+ use multi-layer coatings on the front of the optical elements of the camera module to increase light transmission from roughly 95% of non-treated camera systems to 98%, ultimately giving the sensor behind the lens array more light to work with. Both the DX and DX+ composites are claimed to let through the same 98% of light, but the DX+ composite is more scratch resistant than the standard DX coating, according to Corning.
A visual representation of the scratch-resistance of Gorilla Glass DX and DX+ compared to optical elements with standard AR coatings (Corning didn’t divulge what specific coating was used for this comparison. Click to enlarge.
The advantage of this new glass composite is that it offers the same light transmission of optical elements made of glass and treated with an anti-reflective coating while offering nearly the same scratch resistance of sapphire-coated elements (Sapphire rates just under 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness). Until now, most manufactures have had to choose between using anti-reflective coatings, which are prone to scratching, or using sapphire coatings on the front optical element, which doesn’t transmit as much light. Gorilla Glass DX and DX+ should, in theory, minimize the compromise between those two qualities.
Compared to this traditional optical element with an anti-reflective coating applied only to the back of the element (seen right on this image), Corning claims Gorilla Glass DX and DX+, which is applied to the front of the optical element (seen left in this image), increases light transmission to 98%, according to Corning.
Corning hasn’t provided a full list of smartphone manufacturers it’s partnering for this new technology, but did confirm Samsung will be the first to use this technology in its mobile devices. If that’s the case, it shouldn’t be long before we see the first devices with this new technology inside, considering Samsung is expected to announce its next line of Galaxy smartphones before the end of the year.
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