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ams Active Stereo Vision system boosts 3D adoption in smart phones, HABA and IoT

ams introduces a new ASV technology product portfolio which enables manufacturers of consumer, computing and industrial products to implement face recognition and other 3D sensing applications more easily and at lower cost.

Based on its extensive 3D experience, ams has added Active Stereo Vision technology products to its portfolio to address additional and different 3D sensing applications as well as reach lower price points in the mobile segment.

The first major smartphone OEMs are expected to launch products using ams ASV technology this autumn. In addition, the new ASV technology can be used for applications in different industries such as computing, smart home and smart buildings.

The hardware and software for generating accurate 3D depth maps through the ASV technique, uses twin infrared cameras that sense the target using the illumination from miniature laser projectors. The system supplied by ams includes: the ams Belago product, a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) illuminator which projects a semi-random high-density dot-pattern on the target; the ams PMSILPlus (VCSEL) flood projector, which features an improved wafer-level optical diffuser for uniform irradiance over the target plane; dual infrared cameras; ams software for generating a depth map image from the reflections captured by the cameras; ams system calibration software; and ams face-recognition software.

The ASV solution produces a depth map of an object such as a face with high accuracy and precision. Compared to structured light solutions, it is more cost effective without compromising on depth map quality and resolution and supports easier assembly processes.

The depth maps generated by the ASV technology are highly accurate enabling face recognition to meet payment-grade quality standards, an industry first. They can also be used in other 3D sensing applications such as: AR/VR using simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM); driver monitoring in automotive systems; 3D scanning in smart factory production systems; and eLock and Point-of-Sales systems.

The launch version of the reference design is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform optimised for mobile phones. Improvements to the Belago illumination module enable it to produce a randomised high-contrast dot pattern with full focus over the entire range that can be reliably captured by the IR cameras.

By integrating optical components at wafer level, ams has miniaturised the design while maintaining high optical quality: the latest Belago device, supplied in a 4.2mm x 3.6mm x 3.3mm package, is ideal for integration into smartphones and other space-constrained designs.

Both the Belago and PMSILPlus emitters incorporate an eye-safety interlock to shut down the device in the event of lens crack or lens detachment.

Neil Tyler

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