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ST announces next-gen multizone time-of-flight sensor


Target applications include human-presence sensing, gesture recognition

STMicroelectronics has announced its latest-generation 8x8 multizone time-of-flight (ToF) ranging sensor, designed to deliver a range of improvements including greater ambient-light immunity, lower power consumption, and enhanced optics.

ST’s direct-ToF sensors combine a 940nm VCSEL, a multizone SPAD (single-photon avalanche diode) detector array, and an optical system comprising filters and diffractive optical elements (DOE) in an all-in-one module. The sensor projects a wide square field of view of 45° x 45° (65° diagonal) and receives reflected light to calculate the distance of objects up to 400cm away, across 64 independent zones, and up to 30 captures per second.

The new VL53L8CX has a new-generation VCSEL and advanced silicon-based optics. Compared with the current VL53L5CX, the enhancements increase immunity to interference from ambient light, extending the sensor’s maximum range in daylight from 170cm to 285cm and reducing power consumption from 4.5mW to 1.6mW in low-power mode.

When used for system activation and human presence detection, the device's greater ambient-light immunity means it can respond more consistently and quickly. ST says that as part of its STGesture platform, the new sensor delivers the precision needed for repeatable gesture-based interaction. I

The VL53L8CX pis also said to provide increased accuracy for monitoring the contents of bins, containers, silos, and tanks, including liquid-level monitoring, in industrial bulk storage and warehousing.

The VL53L8CX is available now, housed in a 6.4mm x 3.0mm x 1.75mm leadless package, from $3.60 for orders of 1000 pieces.

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