Time of flight imager enables smallest 3D camera systems, says Infineon

In collaboration with 3D time of flight (ToF) specialist pmdtechnologies, Infineon has introduced the IRS2976C ToF VGA sensor, an evolution of the IRS2877C ToF VGA sensor and member of pmdtechnologies’ Real3 family.

Using Infineon’s pixel technology enables the pixels to achieve a quantum efficiency of at least 30 per cent which is a level so far only attained by rear illumination (or backside illumination / BSI) sensors. This efficiency is accomplished while maintaining the cost advantage of frontside illumination (FSI) sensors, said Infineon. The he IRS2976C sensor is claimed to be the first ToF imager to pass Google’s Class 3 (Strong) certification for face ID, while seamlessly operating under the mobile device’s display.

The IRS2976C imager supports a number of long range, low power use cases that enable a measurement range of 10 meter and above. All members of the Real3 family feature patented suppression of background illumination (SBI) technology integrated into each pixel to provide the robust data in high dynamic range (HDR) and sunlight scenes.

The ToF CMOS process ensures “excellent sensitivity and robust operation in indoor and outdoor environments,” said Christian Herzum, vice president 3D sensing at Infineon. The IRS2976C 3D ToF imager offers a high level of functionality and maximum flexibility to optimise 3D camera designs, he added. 

Target applications for the sensor are secure authentication for smartphones, payment terminals, smart door locks and also for virtual and augmented reality (AR / VR) headsets, service robots, and various IoT devices.

The IRS2976C offers system VGA resolution of 640 x 480 depth points. It is claimed to have the world’s smallest form factor (23mm²) and is drop-in compatible to the earlier IRS2877C imager. 

The high level of integration enables a reduced bill of material, lowest form factors and simplified design, noted Infineon. In combination with the IRS9102C, Infineon’s latest VCSEL driver, the IRS2976C allows the design of the smallest 3D camera systems at optimised costs, said the company.

Engineering samples of the – are available. 

The RS2976C will be presented at MWC 2023 in Barcelona, Spain (27 February to 2 March) Hall 5a-51.


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