ToF imager enables smallest 3D camera system

ToF imager enables smallest 3D camera system

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By Nick Flaherty

Infineon Technologies has worked with pmdtechnologies to further reduce the size of camera systems using time of flight (ToF) sensors to integrate into a smartphone.

The implementation of Infineon’s advanced pixel technology enables the pixels in the latest IRS2976C ToF  to achieve a quantum efficiency of 30 percent and more, a level so far only attained by back-side illumination (BSI) sensors. This is accomplished while maintaining the superior cost advantage of front-side illumination (FSI) sensors.

This allows the IRS2976C sensor to pass Googles Class 3 (Strong) certification for face ID, while seamlessly operating under the mobile device’s display with a camera volume of just 23 mm²

The IRS2976C imager supports a number of long-range, low-power use cases that enable a measurement range of 10 meter and further. As with all members of the REAL3 family, pmdtechnologies’ patented Suppression of Background Illumination (SBI) technology is integrated into each pixel. This provides the robust data in high dynamic range (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 optimize 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 IRS2976C Time of Flight (ToF) VGA sensor is an enhancement of the IRS2877C ToF VGA sensor with VGA resolution of 640 x 480 depth points and is drop-in compatible for an easy upgrade path. The high level of integration enables a reduced bill of material (BOM), lowest form factors and simplified design.

In combination with IRS9102C, Infineon’s latest VCSEL driver, the new IRS2976C allows the design of the smallest 3D camera systems at optimized costs.

Engineering samples of the IRS2976C imager are available. The new product will be presented at Mobile World Congress (MEWC) 2023 in Barcelona next week.

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