Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Panasonic Develops 250m-Range APD-based ToF Sensor

Panasonic has developed a TOF image sensorthat uses avalanche PD (APD) pixels and is capable of capturing range imaging of objects up to 250m even at night with poor visibility (there is no mention what is the range in mid-day sunlight). The new sensor applications include automotive range imaging and wide-area surveillance in the dark.

The ToF pixel includes an APD and an in-pixel circuit that integrates weak input signals to enables the 3D range imaging 250 m ahead. The sensor resolution is said to be the world's highest 250,000 pixels for a sensor based on electron-multiplying pixels. This high integration is achieved through the lamination of the electron multiplier and the electron storage as well as the area reduction of APD pixels.

The key innovative technologies are:
  • The area of APD pixels is significantly reduced while the multiplication performance is maintained through the lamination of the multiplier that amplifies photoelectrons and the electron storage that retains electrons.
    The APD multiplication factor is 10,000.
  • Long-range measurement imaging technology


  1. viewing angle in figure 6 is quite low, only about 5degrees (assuming 5m length of car in 200m, i.e. approximately 20m observed area in 200m).

  2. APD with gain of 10000, would that be a linear APD or Geiger mode / SPAD?

  3. The technology shoud be the one presented at ISSCC 2016:

  4. This is a constant news entry by Panasonic, yet in 2020 we don't see a mass produced unit on the market money can buy so we resort to other solutions like LiDARs by Velodyne.


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