Monday, May 27, 2019

3D Imaging News: Ams, Infineon, Etron

IEEE Spectrum publishes Ams article "3 Types of 3D Sensing for Smartphones and Self-Driving Cars" by Markus Rossi, VP for innovations in optical sensors. Few quotes:

"Structured light cameras project patterns of light onto objects and analyze distortions in the reflection. Time-of-flight sensors measure the time it takes for light to travel to and from an object as a way to discern its distance. And active stereo vision combines two or more types of near-infrared cameras to triangulate the location and movements of an object.

Facial recognition is today the primary application of 3D sensing... But 3D sensing is also becoming important in the automotive sector, both outside the vehicle as well as inside.

In general, detecting reflected light (from dots or flood illumination) at close distance (say, 40 to 60 cm) is not a major challenge for current systems. And these systems are defined to work in a number of different scenarios. The most critical one is outdoors—the intensity of the reflected dots needs to be strong enough that it can be detected when the light sensor is also being flooded with sunlight.

Calibration is very important for all three technologies—both factory calibration as well as real-time calibration... For example, in order to do triangulation through stereo vision, the cameras need to be positioned at a certain base line (typically in the range of 25 mm). This distance needs to stay constant down to a micron or a fraction of a micron apart. A mechanical shock or a slight variation in temperature could affect their performance.

Infineon: The Embedded Vision Alliance awarded Infineon 3D ToF single chip solution as “Product of the Year” in the category “Sensors.”

Congratulations to Infineon for winning Best Sensor in our 2019 Vision Product of the Year awards,” said Jeff Bier, Founder of the Embedded Vision Alliance. “Innovative sensor designs, like Infineon's 3D Image Sensor, are enabling new 3D vision experiences such as smartphone face recognition and augmented reality. Infineon has been a pioneer in creating 3D image sensors for visual AI applications. I applaud the company’s ongoing investment in innovation and quality in this rapidly changing and often confusing market. I’m proud that Infineon is a member of the Embedded Vision Alliance and delighted they have been recognized with this outstanding honor.

We would like to thank the Embedded Vision Alliance for having honored us with the ‘Product of the Year’ Award, which recognizes Infineon’s innovation and performance of our REAL3™ ToF-based 3D imager the category ‘Sensors’, said Philipp von Schierstaedt, VP, RF & Sensors, Infineon. “Building upon the combined expertise of Infineon and pmdtechnologies, the novel sensor delivers a new level of 3D camera capabilities in mobile device applications. Infineon’s REAL3TM ToF sensor enables a unique user’s experience in secure face-authentication, computational photography and seamless AR-applications.”

Digitimes: Etron started shipping production version of its 3D stereo processors and expects the shipments to top 50,000 units in May.

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