There's been a lot of buzz around sapphire, an extremely hard material that smartphone makers are using to produce scratch-proof screen displays. Huawei, the world's third largest smartphone maker, unveiled the Ascend P7 with a sapphire display on Friday. The announcement follows rumors that Apple's upcoming iPhone 6 will incorporate the nearly indestructible material, although there are some major doubts.
Many are familiar with the blue sapphire gemstone, which is found in nature. But the sapphire crystal used in smartphone screens is made in a lab. It's transparent because it doesn't have the impurities that give mined gemstones their color.
So how exactly is this "miracle material" made?
For a better understanding, we turn to GT Advanced Technologies, a company that sells the equipment that allows smartphone makers to produce sapphire display screens and which Apple partnered with last year.
A video by Pocketnow from inside the GT Advanced Technology factory in Massachusetts provides a great demonstration of how sapphire crystal is made. The full video is embedded below, and we've also broken down the steps using screenshots.