Thursday, September 19, 2013

STMicro Promotes its ToF Proximity Sensor

ST published a promotional video of its VL6180 proximity sensor, the first SPAD device from a major semiconductor manufacturer:

11 comments:

  1. Nice test setup simple and effective in showing the relative advantage.

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  2. any mobile phone is using this sensor?

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  3. This makes only sense if gesture control will entering mobile phones. Unlock/Lock Functions are possible with the capacitive sensor and this for no extra money.
    If gesture control enters this devices this sensor will only be able to sense really simple gestures and not the intiutive ones. But nevertheless any ToF system with higher resolution will consume to much power for a mobile device.
    So let's see in some months if this sensor will meet the market requirements...

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  4. where does it say this is a SPAD device?

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  5. Can anyone compare this product and any conventional proximity sensor in terms of form factor and power consumption??

    I think this will be a part of gesture sensor later. Operating a few pixel may be sufficient for proximity sensor. Then, this technology should be compared with modulation based ToF sensor. As far as I know, SPAD + TDC sensor cannot have a large array.

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  6. It's in the product docs on ST site, and also in the previous post on it (2nd link in this post)

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    Replies
    1. No, I cannot find SPAD by eyeball or using the "find" tool on either your previous blog post or the ST site.

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    2. You're right. I've known this is SPAD-based sensor for a long time, but it appears to be an internal information. In a hindsight, I should not have posted this openly. Based on the open info, ST is known to work with Edinburgh University on SPAD ToF imagers for many years, and published many papers. So, it would be natural to assume that this proximity sensor is SPAD-based.

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  7. There is an article published in EE Times about the technology 'SPAD' being used in VL6180. So its no more an internal information.

    Time-of-flight measurements open up user-interaction scenarios
    http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1280829

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