NewsSTMicroelectronics Unveils FlightSense™ Multi-Zone Distance Sensor with Industry-Leading 90° Field of View

STMicroelectronics Unveils FlightSense™ Multi-Zone Distance Sensor with Industry-Leading 90° Field of View

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STMicroelectronics, a leading global semiconductor company, recently unveiled an advanced optical sensor that will transform situational awareness for many applications. Their newly unveiled FlightSense(tm) multi-zone distance sensor boasts an unparalleled 90deg field of view compared to industry standards and represents an increased size by 33% since previous generations of this sensor were introduced.

STMicroelectronics’ optical sensors bring lifelike awareness to various electronics applications such as home automation, domestic appliances, computers, robots and smart equipment in stores and factories – including home automation systems, domestic appliances, computers and robots. Their enhanced functionality and accuracy provide greater functionality and precision.

FlightSense technology embedded into Time-of-Flight (ToF) multi-zone sensors enables sophisticated scene understanding while reducing power consumption and processing demands. Alexandre Balmefrezol, Executive Vice President and General Manager of ST’s Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group Imaging subgroup, highlighted how expanding field of view gives users greater flexibility without compromising accuracy, resolution or simplicity.

As opposed to camera sensors, ToF sensors such as ST’s VL53L7CX do not capture images and thus guarantee user privacy. Furthermore, its 90deg diagonal field of view enables enhanced peripheral sensing comparable to that of a camera – improving presence detection and system activation such as activating screens or turning on appliances such as ovens or coffee machines.

ST’s FlightSense multi-zone sensors feature powerful capabilities, such as 3D scene mapping and measuring distances to multiple objects simultaneously in multiple zones. When combined with motion indicators, these multi-zone capabilities make these sensors ideal for applications such as people detection/tracking/over-shoulder warning/occupancy detection/parking management etc.

Furthermore, this new sensor dramatically enhances applications such as smart waste-management systems for tracking full and empty bins, floor sensing, cliff prediction, obstacle avoidance, small object detection for robots, keystone correction in projectors, hand tracking for gesture recognition using ST’s STGesture(tm) software pack as well as keystone correction in projectors.

Technical aspects of the VL53L7CX sensor include native 64-zone (8×8) sensing that enables distance measurements up to 350cm for multiple objects within each zone. ST’s patented histogram algorithms facilitate accurate multi-target detection and measurement within an expansive field of view while offering smudge immunity up to 60cm away; additionally, linearity remains maintained when measuring distances as close as 2cm away.

The VL53L7CX operates in low-power mode, consuming just 5.4mW. Additionally, its autonomous mode enables its host system to power down and wake up only when certain threshold values have been reached based on distance to nearby object, signal rate or motion detection. This feature also offers enhanced reliability.

STMicroelectronics offers comprehensive design-in support to enable users to maximize the potential of its sensors and achieve rapid time-to-market with reduced design risk. This assistance includes the VL53L7CX Expansion board (X-NUCLEO-53L7A1) and development packs that combine it with an additional STM32F401 Nucleo(tm).

The SATEL-VL53L7CX, a small-outline PCB, allows for fast integration and prototyping with ease. A comprehensive suite of software, such as Ultra Lite Driver, Linux driver and STGesture(tm) code examples is also provided to ease user development. Furthermore, compatible STM32CubeMX tools offer fast STM32 microcontroller programming as well as application code examples in X-CUBE-TOF1 software pack for fast prototyping with STM32 microcontroller programming using fast STM32 microcontroller programming techniques as well as code examples for fast microcontroller programming as fast STM32 microcontroller programming as fast STM32 microcontroller programming as fast microcontroller programming of STM32 microcontroller programming while application code examples for speed.

STMicroelectronics continues to set the pace in semiconductor innovation, providing cutting-edge solutions that improve vehicle comfort, safety, and user experience. Their FlightSense multi-zone distance sensor represents another significant leap forward for optical sensing technology that opens up exciting new opportunities across various applications.

What are multi-zone distance sensors?

Multi-zone distance sensors are sensors designed to measure distances to multiple objects in different zones or areas simultaneously. Multi-zone distance sensors offer a more holistic view of their surrounding environment by taking distance measurements at multiple points within its field of view. These sensors offer enhanced detection, tracking and mapping capabilities that make them suitable for applications such as people detection/tracking/mapping/robotics. Their multi-zone distance sensors also provide useful information regarding object positions/distances enabling more accurate and efficient operation in different settings.

What Is Time-of-Flight (ToF) Sensor

Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors are sensors designed to measure how long light takes to travel from their sensor to an object and back, thus using this principle as a measurement of distance between themselves and an object.

ToF sensors use infrared light signals to measure how long it takes for them to reflect off an object and return back to them, enabling the sensors to accurately determine their distance from each target object. By calculating this difference in timing between their own light source and that reflected off its target surface, a ToF sensor can determine its distance from any particular object.

ToF sensors are widely utilized across a wide variety of industries and applications, from distance measurement and object detection to gesture recognition, robotics, augmented reality and automotive applications. Their advantages include fast response times and high accuracy with multiple objects within their field of view being measured simultaneously – they even measure without making physical contact!

According to the text provided, the ST VL53L7CX sensor mentioned is a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor capable of precise distance measurement and multi-zone sensing capabilities.

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.