At Sensor Expo 2017, Doug Gates, a technical sales manager from Melexis explains the applications for his company’s two-chip semiconductor solution for time of flight (TOF) sensing. Time of flight sensing uses optical, acoustic, electromagnetic or other wave techniques to measure the time that it takes for the source to travel a distance through a medium. Depending on the source, the applications for TOF vary considerably.
Melexis has a two chip optical solution to determine time of flight. Sensing gesture control, the chipset works up to about three meters. The first automotive applications are volume control and to pick up or hang up the phone. The system can also be used in robotics applications to track a robot’s actions. Hospitals are another application where the TOF system can determine if a patient is in or not in their bed eliminating the privacy concerns of having a video camera on the patent all the time.
Combined with a modulated light source, the MLX75023 is a QVGA (320×240 pixel) resolution camera sensor. Since it is used in automotive applications, the 1/3-inch optical format TOF sensor offers high sunlight robustness and can operate in the -40°C to +105°C temperature range. The other part of the solution is the MLX75123 that controls the sensor and illumination unit and delivers data to a host processor.
To simplify evaluation and design-in, Melexis offers the EVK75123 QVGA evaluation kit that combines a sensor board with the chipset, an illumination module, an interface board and a processor module.