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Thursday, May 05, 2011, 07:10 am PT (10:10 am ET)

iPhone ambient light sensor could receive upgrade from new Apple supplier

Allegedly unhappy with the current light sensor in the iPhone 4, Apple is said to be testing a new component supplier for future hardware.

Citing its industry sources in the Far East, DigiTimes reported Thursday that Capella Microsystems is in talks with Apple to become a component supplier. That would make it the first Taiwan-based integrated circuit manufacturer to land orders from the iPhone maker.

"Capella, which ships over one million ambient-light sensors to HTC a month currently, has reportedly delivered its products to Apple for verification as the ambient-light sensors currently used by the iPhone 4 have been criticized for some problems," the report said.

A deal is not said to be imminent, but Apple could place orders with Capella before the end of the year. Apple is expected to release its fifth-generation iPhone later than usual this year, with one report pegging its debut in the company's 2012 fiscal year, which begins at the end of September.

Capella is said to be one of two Taiwan-based integrated circuit suppliers that Apple is exploring potential opportunities with. The Cupertino, Calif., company is also reportedly in talks with Integrated Memory Logic.

iPhone 4


Rumors have swirled in Taiwan that IML's programmable gamma buffers are likely to be utilized by Apple in its iPad touchscreen tablet. IML also maintains a headquarters in the U.S.