Apple: Second 2020 iPad teardown shows how LiDAR differs from Face ID

A second disassembly of the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro showed that the interior of the latest model is quite similar to the previous version, while a demonstration of the addition of LiDAR shows that it will not offer the same level of sensitivity as the Camera Network TrueDepth.

Rear camera module removed from iPad Pro 2020 (via iFixit)

The second in a few days, the last usual disassembly of the iPad Pro 2020 by iFixit is an unusual case, as it is published mainly on video. Stored under a lock caused by the coronavirus, disassembly is short, but follows the same procedure as previous versions of the repair equipment, but with some differences.

Separating the screen from the rest of the iPad depended on picks and a hairdryer, instead of using a heating pad to loosen the stickers. As with the iPad Pro 2018, the back must be rotated to remove cables and shields that are screwed on to loosen it completely.

The new camera module is separated by a few screws, with an ultra large 10 megapixel module with a 12 megapixel camera and the LiDAR scanner, which, as mentioned earlier, consists of two lens protection modules stacked on the above and the other . It is assumed that the modules consist of a VCSEL transmitter and a receiving sensor, the first emitting a network of infrared points received by the sensor.

Using an infrared camera, disassembly revealed that the LiDAR system emits a regular dot pattern, much less than that of the TrueDepth camera. Since it is not intended for Face ID applications, it appears that this iteration is only intended for more simplified depth mapping over a longer range, rather than requiring more refined measurements of a face.

Infrared dot projections for the LiDAR module (left), TrueDepth camera (right) (via iFixit)

The front cameras are removed in a single set, with hardware similar to the previous module. The USB-C port is always modular in the base, instead of a wired part, making it an ideal candidate for simple repairs.

The motherboard, like iPads, is glued to the inside with wires running through it and is flanked by batteries. The card features the Bionic A12Z chip with 6 GB of RAM, compared to 4 GB on previous models.

The batteries are held in place with removable glue, although common glue is still used in certain areas, making replacement difficult. The two cells have a total capacity of 36.59 watts-hour, the same as the model it replaces.

In the summary of the new iFixit model, he says that despite the incremental updates for users, it has “reasonably bad repair procedures”. The use of adhesives and precarious elevations results in a “recoverability” score of only 3 in 10.

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