Infineon launches tiny new 3D image sensor for smartphone integration

Infineon has developed a 3D image sensor which can be integrated in smartphone camera modules smaller than 12mm by 8mm, including VCSEL (Vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) illumination.

The newest chip in Infineon’s REAL3 product family is based on Time-of-flight technology, and features 38,000 pixels, each of which utilizes “Suppression of Background Illumination” (SBI) circuitry. Time-of-flight offers advantages over other 3D sensor principles like stereoscopic light or structured light approaches in terms of performance, size and power consumption, according to the announcement.

The chip is tuned to work at 940nm infrared light, which makes projected light is invisible and improves outdoor performance. It also integrates a dedicated function to support Laser-Class-1 safety. The module is ready for mass production, and does not require re-calibration during use.

Volume production is scheduled for Q4 2018, and software partners including Sensible Vision and IDEMIA provide application software. Samples and demos are currently available.

As previously reported, new smartphones from Oppo and Xiaomi are expected to launch with 3D sensing technology in 2018.

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