ToF sensor enables AI applications

27 September 2023 AI & ML

The VL53L7CH from STMicroelectronics is the perfect Time-of-Flight sensor enabling AI applications, with ultrawide 90° diagonal FoV and low power consumption. The compact and normalised histogram (CNH) innovative data output is specially designed for artificial intelligence (AI) applications requiring multizone raw data from a high-performance multizone ToF sensor.

The IR signal measured in each zone is sent as raw data to the host through each bin of the histogram. The module is highly configurable:

• The user can program the resolution of the VL53L7CH up to 64 zones in an 8x8 array.

• The histogram resolution can be modified up to 128 bins.

• The bin width can be user-defined.

All this CNH data is transmitted to the host through I2C, up to 30 Hz, in addition to the standard processed data of the ToF sensor being ranging distance, signal level, and reflectance.

The CNH data transforms the Time-of-Flight ranging sensor into a versatile optical sensor, which can enable a multitude of AI-based applications. The raw data sent to the host opens the door to many new applications, beyond simple distance measurements. From solid material to gas or liquid, it now becomes simple to detect the location and the size of a cup in a coffee machine or beverage dispenser, to sense the floor material for robotics, or to develop advanced shape, motion, or hand posture recognition.

The VL53L7CH Time-of-Flight sensor offers an ultrawide 90° diagonal FoV, shaped as a square 60° x 60° FoV, thanks to the innovative metalens surface ODIF lenses. The integrated VCSEL emits fully invisible 940 nm IR light, which is Class 1 certified and therefore safe for the eyes.


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