Thursday, October 9, 2014

ST's industry-leading proximity sensor brings superior distance sensing

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: STMicroelectronics has revealed a new highly accurate optical range-finding module based on FlightSense Time-of-Flight technology that offers designers superior distance-measurement capability.

FlightSense provides accurate distance sensing by measuring the time for emitted light to reflect back from the target, whereas conventional sensors can only report reflected signal levels and not absolute distance. ST's FlightSense technology brings unique advantages versus conventional infrared sensors; measuring longer ranges that are independent of the target reflectivity, at high frame rate and low power.

ST's VL6180X module combines FlightSense proximity sensing with an ambient-light sensor (ALS) and supports basic gesture recognition to simplify the user-interface design while also offering enhanced performance. This new device supports a wide range of creative use cases across multiple markets, including smartphones, tablets, and game controllers, while also improving the performance of consumer appliances and industrial products.

Global electronics giant LG utilizes the FlightSense technology to assist the laser auto-focus performance of its G3 smartphone.

The VL6180X module is offered in a compact 4.8mm x 2.8mm x 1.0mm optical LGA12 package and can accurately measure the distance to objects at up to 100mm or even farther, subject to operating conditions. The module provides an I2C interface for host control and reading ranging or ambient light level results, as well as two programmable GPIO pins that can be configured to implement threshold applications.

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