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Time-of-flight ranging sensor revolutionises mobile-camera performance

STMicroelectronics has released its second-generation laser-ranging sensor based on its FlightSense technology. It is claimed that the VL53L0 can range faster over longer distances and more accurately, improving smartphone and tablet camera performance and opening new possibilities and features in robotics, user detection, drones, IoT, and wearables.

With a form factor of 4.4 x 2.4 x 1mm, the VL53L0 is said to be the smallest ToF (Time-of-Flight) module in the world, and the first to integrate a 940nm VCSEL light source, a SPAD photon detector, and an advanced microcontroller to manage the complete ranging function.

The VL53L0 is claimed to be able to perform a full measurement operation in one image frame, typically less than 30ms, at distances beyond 2m. The camera system can achieve instant focus in both video and burst modes, even in low-light or low-contrast scenes.

The module is said to be simple to use, is I2C based, and comes with a full package of API drivers and documentation for simple integration. The module package is reflowable, RoHS compliant, and fully compatible with a selection of cover glass and design artworks.

Tom Austin-Morgan

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