Ams Introduces VCSEL IR Emitter Family
Flood illuminators combine VCSEL and optical packaging technologies
Ams has introduced a family of infrared VCSEL flood illuminators which help industrial manufacturers to develop new and innovative applications for robots, cobots, autonomous guided vehicles, and smart devices which perform 2D and 3D optical sensing.
With everything including VCSEL and diffuser managed in-house by Ams for tight quality control and supply chain management on key components, the new EGA2000 flood illuminators provide a uniform, tightly controlled and high-output power illumination. This is essential for evolving applications using ranging, object detection, face recognition, which use 2D and even the more sophisticated 3D sensing techniques based on Time-of-Flight (ToF) or Stereo Vision (SV).
The implementation of 3D sensing was pioneered in mobile phones, where it is used for secure face recognition. It is now emerging in the industrial mass market as a successful technique for applications such a object dimension detection in robotics; 3D mapping of the environment supporting the operation of autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), including automatic vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers; face recognition in industrial systems; and night vision cameras.
Markus Luidolt, senior marketing director for 3D Sensing Modules and Solutions at Ams, said: “The rate of innovation in markets such as logistics and warehousing, home and building automation, and Industry 4.0 is remarkable. A mass market is emerging for new product categories such as home cleaning robots, cobots to assist human factory operators, and AGVs to replace conventional forklift trucks in warehouses."
He added: "The superior optical performance of the EGA2000 family and the range of options which it provides will help industrial companies to achieve more reliable ranging and depth mapping, speeding the go-to-market with fewer design iterations and less system debugging. Furthermore, to support customers' R&D investments in industrial products serving a wide range of challenging applications, the EGA product family is designed for long-term availability.”
The optical performance of the EGA2000 flood illuminators is said to be a feature of the integrated Ams IR emitter architecture. Matching the micro-optics to suit the characteristics of the VCSEL emitter, the EGA2000 illuminators produce a uniform beam, which has a homogeneous rectangular profile. This tightly controlled illumination profile and Field of Illumination (FoI) match the field of view of the IR image sensors used in 2D and 3D ranging and detection systems, thus increasing the strength and integrity of the reflected optical signal.
The EGA2000 family of illuminators offers two wavelength options: 850nm for systems requiring maximum sensitivity and 940nm for easier compliance with eye safety regulations. Good rejection of sunlight interference also makes the 940nm illuminators suitable for use outdoors. Each wavelength option is also available in one of three beam configurations.
The EGA2000 flood illuminators are now available for sampling targeting Mass Production by Q2 2021.