ToF 3D chip offers <1.5ms raw data output

Article By : Graham Prophet

Melexis’ chipset integrates 1/3-inch optical ToF sensor and companion IC that controls the sensor and illumination unit and delivers data.

Melexis has released a chipset and its corresponding evaluation kit that aim to simplify and speed up the implementation of time‐of‐flight (ToF) 3D vision for the most challenging environments.

The Melexis’ chipset integrates the company’s MLX75023 1/3-inch optical format ToF sensor and the MLX75123, a companion IC that controls the sensor and illumination unit and delivers data to a host processor.

[Melexis ToF 3D chipset (cr)]
Figure 1: As the MLX75023 and MLX75123 measure 7mm x 7mm and 6.6mm x 5.5mm respectively, they require minimal board space. Together the devices can minimise the component count and reduce the size of 3D ToF cameras.

The MLX75023 sensor has QVGA (320px x 240px) resolution and background light rejection capabilities of up to 120klux. This IC can provide raw data output in less than 1.5ms, giving it capacity to track rapid movement. The MLX75123 control chip has 12bit parallel camera interface, I2C connectivity and 4 integrated high-speed analog-to-digital converters (ADC). Integrated functions include powerful diagnostics and support for region‐of‐interest, configurable timing, image flipping, statistics and switching modulation frequencies.

With high-temperature capabilities of -40°C to 105°C, the need for active cooling can be minimised compared to alternative solutions. This leads to a reduction in noise, as well as enabling further cost and space savings in relation to thermal management.

Designed for flexibility, the modular EVK75123 QVGA evaluation kit combines a sensor board featuring the chipset, an illumination module, an interface board and a processor module. Thus, engineers can choose which elements are needed. For example, they can combine the sensor board (containing the ToF chipset) with the other hardware elements or simply use it as a standalone module. The processing board can be located away from the sensor and illumination boards as necessary.

Furthermore, the evaluation kit has an 80mm x 50mm x 35mm form factor and features an NXP i.MX6 multi-core processor. Its illumination unit has 4 VCSELs, with optional 60° or 110° field-of-view (FoV) for acquiring imaging data from a broader area. Using the evaluation kit, designers can test this automotive-qualified chipset and start developing their own custom hardware and application software. Therefore, it can be widely used in automotive, surveillance and smart buildings, as well as industrial applications including machine vision, robotics and factory automation.

First published by EDN Europe

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