Time-of-flight sensor enables a wide range of high-performance use cases

Update: March 4, 2023

STMicroelectronics VL53L8CX 8×8 Multizone Time-of-Flight sensor, available now from Mouser, improves performance under ambient light with lower power consumption. The sensor is based on the company’s FlightSense technology and is created to provide accurate ranging up to 400cm with a 65-degree diagonal FoV. It measures an absolute distance regardless of the target colour and reflectance. The VL53L8CX incorporates a powerful newer generation VCSEL and two advanced meta-surface lenses. The all-in-one module allows a wider variety of high-performance use cases, such as low-power system activation, gesture recognition, SLAM for robotics, liquid level monitoring, and many more.

The ToF sensor implements patented algorithms that detect and track multiple targets within the FoV with a 64-zone depth measurement. The histograms ensure that the cover glass crosstalk immunity exceeds 60cm. The sensor enables SPI and I2C interfaces for high-frequency frame rates and short boot times. The VCSEL of the device emits fully invisible 940nm IR light and has a Class 1 certification that is safe for the eyes.

The wide range of suitable application areas includes robotic applications in difficult environments, including SLAM, wall tracking, small object detection, cliff prediction, and floor-type recognition; system activation under ambient light for smart buildings and smart lighting; content management for tanks, loads in trucks, and waste bins; liquid level monitoring; gesture recognition; and keystone correction for video projectors. Also included are devices requiring better ambient light immunity; augmented reality/virtual reality enhancement; dual camera stereoscopy and 3D depth assistance thanks to multizone distance measurements; IoT and battery-powered devices for user and object detection; LAF, which enhances the camera AF system speed and robustness, especially in difficult low light or low contrast scenes.