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ST expands into 3D depth sensing with ToF sensors

STMicroelectronics has announced an all-in-one, direct Time-of-Flight (dToF) 3D LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) module.

The VL53L9 is a new direct ToF 3D LiDAR device with a resolution of up to 2.3k zones. Integrating a dual scan flood illumination, the LiDAR can detect small objects and edges and captures both 2D infrared (IR) images and 3D depth map information.

The device comes as a ready-to-use low power module with its on-chip dToF processing, requiring no extra external components or calibration. Additionally, the device delivers state-of-the-art ranging performance from 5cm to 10 metres.

VL53L9’s suite of features elevates camera-assist performance, supporting macro up to telephoto photography. It enables features such as laser autofocus, bokeh, and cinematic effects for still and video at 60fps (frame per second).

Virtual reality (VR) systems can leverage accurate depth and 2D images to enhance spatial mapping for more immersive gaming and other VR experiences like virtual visits or 3D avatars. In addition, the sensor’s ability to detect the edges of small objects at short and ultra-long ranges makes it suitable for applications such as virtual reality or SLAM (simultaneous localisation and mapping).

First samples of the VL53L9 are already available for lead customers and mass production is scheduled for early 2025.