Apple Supplier Corning Releases New Gorilla Glass for Camera Lenses
Corning, an Apple supplier known for its protective glass offerings, today announced the launch of new scratch resistant glass composite products designed for mobile device cameras.
The Corning Gorilla Glass with DX and Corning Gorilla Glass with DX+ are designed to allow professional-grade image capture through what Corning says is a combination of advanced optical performance, superior scratch resistance, and durability.
Corning says that with Gorilla Glass DX+, camera lenses can capture 98 percent of light, an improvement over a camera lens that doesn't use the technology. With more light, the intensity of ghosting is reduced.
In lab tests, Gorilla Glass DX+ was more scratch resistant than glass with a standard AR coating, and it beat out standard Gorilla Glass as well. It withstood scratch tests with up to 4kg of force, and Corning says that it approaches the scratch resistance of sapphire.
As The Verge points out, Corning has previously used DX/DX+ Gorilla Glass for smart watches.
Apple uses Corning's Gorilla Glass to protect its iPhone displays, but iPhone cameras are covered with sapphire crystal for protection. It is not clear if Corning's Gorilla Glass DX products for camera lenses will eventually make their way into iPhone models, and Corning says its first customer to adopt Gorilla Glass DX for camera lenses will be Samsung.
Apple is likely to continue using sapphire if it's the more durable option, but if Gorilla Glass DX+ offers the same protection at a lower price point, it would perhaps be feasible for the Cupertino company to switch to a new material.
Apple has provided Corning with millions of dollars for product development as part of Apple's Advanced Manufacturing Fund. In 2017, Corning received $200 million, and in 2019, Corning received another $250 million. Apple awarded Corning with another $45 million earlier this year, with the total funds going toward Corning's research and development into "state-of-the-art glass processes" that led to the creation of the Ceramic Shield displays used in the iPhone 12 lineup.