Imager enables the smallest 3D camera systems with an improved quantum efficiency

Update: August 11, 2023

Infineon Technologies AG and 3D time-of-flight specialist and premium partner pmdtechnologies have released the IRS2976C ToF VGA sensor, a performance-enhancing evolution of the IRS2877C ToF VGA sensor and novel member of the REAL3 product family.

Implementing Infineon’s advanced pixel technology allows the pixels to accomplish a quantum efficiency of 30% and more, a level only attained by BSI sensors. Significantly, this is delivered while maintaining the superior cost advantage of FSI sensors. Consequently, the sensor is the first ToF imager in the world to pass Google’s Class 3 (Strong) certification for face ID while seamlessly performing under the mobile device’s display.

The imager supports several long-range, low-power use cases that allow a measurement range of 10m and further. As with all members of the REAL3 family, pmdtechnologies’ patented Suppression of Background Illumination technology is integrated into each pixel, supplying robust data in HDR and sunlight scenes.

“Our unique ToF CMOS process ensures excellent sensitivity and robust operation in indoor and outdoor environments,” said Christian Herzum, vice president 3D-sensing at Infineon. “In addition, our IRS2976C 3D ToF imager offers a high level of functionality and maximum flexibility to optimise 3D camera designs. The sensor is ideal for applications like secure authentication for smartphones, payment terminals, smart door locks and also for virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR) headsets, service robots, and various IoT devices.”

The device provides system VGA resolution of 640 x 480 depth points. With the world’s smallest form factor of 23mm², the imager sensor is drop-in compatible with the previous IRS2877C imager, enabling an easy upgrade path. The high level of integration enables a reduced BOM, lowest form factors and simplified design. Combined with IRS9102C, the company’s latest VCSEL driver, the new IRS2976C permits the design of the smallest 3D camera systems at optimised costs.