New Time-of-Flight Ranging Sensor Give Accurate Measurements in Millimeters Up To 3m
STMicroelectronics Release The New VL53L0X Laser-Ranging Sensor, With Improvements in Accuracy and Speed
STMicroelectronics has further enhanced its leadership in Time-of-Flight (ToF) ranging sensors with the second generation of its FlightSense™ technology,
now available in the new VL53L0X laser-ranging sensor.
The VL53L0X extends the ToF measurement range to two meters, and is accurate to within ±3%, It is also faster, measuring the distance in under 30ms, and highly energy-efficient, consuming only 20mW in active ranging mode and drawing 5µA in standby. At 2.4mm x 4.4mm x 1mm, it is also the smallest such device in the market.
Unlike conventional infrared proximity sensors, the VL53L0X gives accurate distance measurement in millimeters, and is unaffected by the color or reflectivity of the sensed target. Its fast-acting FlightSense technology, well known from the laser-assisted camera auto-focus featured in several smartphones from top brands, can also distinguish movement towards or away from the sensor or from side to side. Distance is calculated internally and communicated over I²C thereby minimizing demands on the system host controller.
The integrated eye-safe laser emits non-visible light of 940nm wavelength, which eliminates the distracting red glow typically associated with other infrared proximity sensors and improves immunity to interference from external light sources. The sensor’s digital architecture and automatic light compensation further enhance performance in scenes with high ambient-lighting levels.
The sensing capabilities of the VL53L0X can support a wide range of functions including gesture sensing or proximity detection for new innovative user interfaces, wall detection, cliff detection and collision avoidance for robotic appliances such as vacuum cleaners, as well as hands-free actuation of home appliances or washroom devices such as faucets, soap dispensers, hand dryers, and flushers. Other applications include user-presence detection for laptops or monitors for power-on/off control, drones, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.
To support fast and easy integration, the VL53L0X is supplied with a software API (Application Programming Interface) as well as full documentation and example source code. Developers can take advantage of the X-NUCLEO-53L0A1 expansion board, which can be connected to the family of STM32 Nucleo microcontroller boards for easy evaluation of the VL53L0X performance.
Features of the VL53L0X Time-of-Flight Ranging Sensor
- Fully integrated miniature module
- 940 nm laser VCSEL
- VCSEL driver
- Ranging sensor with advanced embedded micro controller
- Fast, accurate distance ranging
- Measures absolute range up to 2 m
- Reported range is independent of the target reflectance
- Advanced embedded optical cross-talk compensation to simplify cover glass selection
- Eye safe -Class 1 laser device compliant with latest standard IEC 60825-1:2014 - 3rd edition
- Easy integration
- Single reflowable component
- No additional optics
- Single power supply
- I²C interface for device control and data transfer
- Xshutdown (reset) and interrupt GPIO
- Programmable I²C address
For more information on the VL53L0X Time-of-Flight Ranging Sensor, visit the ST Website at
STMicroelectronics VL53L0X product page
The company's Web site address is www.st.com.
[Reprinted with kind permission from STMicroelectronics - Release Date 6th June, 2016]