New Time-of-Flight Sensor Enables Multi-Object Ranging and Accuracy

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  • Allows detection and measurement of accurate distances to multiple targets
  • Also suitable for other applications such as building automation and IoT sensing

With the introduction of the VL53L3CX, STMicroelectronics has extended the capabilities of its FlightSense Time of Flight (ToF) ranging sensors. The newly released sensor allows measuring distances to multiple objects as well as increasing accuracy.

Unlike conventional IR sensors, the VL53L3CX measures object ranges from 2.5cm to 3m, unaffected by the target colour or reflectance. This allows designers to enable powerful new features into their products, such as occupancy detectors to provide error-free sensing by ignoring unwanted background or foreground objects, or reporting the exact distances to multiple targets within the sensor’s field-of-view.

Unmatched data processing

Its histogram algorithms increase cover-glass crosstalk immunity and allow real-time smudge compensation, preventing external contamination from adversely affecting the ranging accuracy. For example, vacuum cleaners or equipment that may be used in a dusty industrial environment. Ranging under ambient lighting has also been improved.

Also, the VL53L3CX has superior linearity that increases short-distance measurement accuracy enhancing wall tracking, faster cliff detection and obstacle avoidance in equipment such as service robots and vacuum cleaners.

Other applications

ToF sensing brings superior performance to a wide variety of applications, including more reliable occupancy detection in building automation and lighting controllers, smarter proximity sensing in IoT endpoints, more convenient auto-wakeup in portable devices, and more robust user detection in automatic sanitary equipment. With their high accuracy and fast response times, ToF sensors also enhance the performance of all devices requiring precise movement control, typically robotics and indoor drones.

The VL53L3CX is available now. Like all FlightSense sensors, the VL53L3CX features a compact, all-in-one package design that eases integration in customer devices, as well as low power consumption that helps extend battery runtime.