Corning Inc. glass technology used for new iPhone 12

February 04 2022 08:00 am

CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – Corning Inc’s “new, cutting-edge material” is being used for Apple’s newly unveiled iPhones.

During Apple’s release of its new product lineup, including the iPhone 12, Corning Inc. received a shoutout from Kaiann Drance, VP, iPhone Product Marketing, as they unveiled their new Ceramic Shield technology.

We obsess with making your display impeccable, and of course it’s important that we protect your display in the best way. The cover glass on the iPhone 11 is the toughest in the industry. But iPhone 12 leaps ahead with something even better. Much better. Our incredible materials engineering team has been working closely with our partners at Corning, the leaders in glass technology, on the new, cutting-edge material. And we call it Ceramic Shield. Ceramic Shield goes beyond glass by adding a new, high-temperature crystallization step, which grows nano ceramic crystals within the glass matrix to dramatically improve toughness.

To make this material both tough and optically clear, we precisely control the type of crystals and degree of crystallinity. This was the breakthrough that made Ceramic Shield possible for iPhone. Ceramic Shield is tougher than any smartphone glass, and along with our new design, it makes iPhone more durable than ever. We measure 4X better drop performance. That means if your iPhone accidentally slips out of your pocket, Ceramic Shield will have 4X the chance of surviving without cracking. This is the biggest jump in reliability we’ve ever had on iPhone, and we’re thrilled to bring that to iPhone 12.”

In 2019 Apple announced it is awarding $250 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to Corning Inc. to support “Corning’s research and development into state-of-the-art glass processes, equipment and materials integral to the delivery of next-generation consumer devices.”

On Tuesday Corning Inc. released additional information regarding the new Ceramic Shield technology.

Corning’s new material is the world’s first transparent and color-free glass-ceramic, which provides optical performance suitable for use as a cover material for smartphones. And it’s highly durable, tougher than any smartphone glass.  Corning originally pioneered glass-ceramics, and our latest collaboration with Apple led to the introduction of Ceramic Shield.

The ideal cover material for a smartphone is highly transparent, resists flaws, and retains its strength so it doesn’t break if damage does occur. We invented this new glass-ceramic that combines the best properties of both ceramics and glass to deliver unparalleled performance on smartphones.  It’s highly transparent and offers superior durability and toughness.

Now for the technical details:

This new technology consists of nano ceramic crystals embedded in the glass matrix. The crystals embedded in the glass matrix are an order of magnitude smaller than the wavelength of light, and index matched to the glass. This makes the material highly transparent, unlike other glass ceramics. Additionally, the crystals form interlocked structures that result in high flaw resistance and provide a mechanism to deflect and arrest cracks. The glass matrix is strengthened by ion exchange to provide a high degree of retained strength after damage.

Corning Inc.

iPhone 12’s can be pre-ordered through Apple starting on Oct. 16 for $799.

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