STM VL53L8 is a new sensor for smartphone cameras that can enhance the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) capabilities of the device. The 2nd generation FlightSense Time of Flight (ToF) ranging sensor offers double the range and consumes half the power compared to its last generation counterpart. The module has features a 94-nm VCSEL light source, a low-power 32bit MCU core, a System-on-Chip sensor with an embedded VCSEL driver. The new sensor employs the metasurface lens technology in both the transmit and receive apertures. Moreover, the VL53L8 is capable of delivering 16 or 64 discrete ranging zones with stable and accurate improved ranging. The sensor can also support indoor/outdoor detection and smart-focus bracketing, as well as consumer LiDAR, where depth mapping is required. The VL53L8 is IEC 60825-1 Class 1 certification and is fully eye-safe during normal applications.
“ST’s ToF technology has enjoyed massive commercial success, now shipping in more than 200 smartphone models and 100 PC, projector, and robotic products. Now, VL53L8 FlightSense sensor takes ranging performance and power efficiency to new levels,” said Eric Aussedat, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Imaging Sub-Group within ST’s Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group. “Our latest-generation ranging sensor is a game changer. With its innovative metasurface lens technology and power-efficient architecture, it reduces battery loading, extends camera autofocus ranging, and enhances scene-understanding features.”
STM says that the VL53L8 is suitable for smartphones and tablets and can be used in both front-facing and rear-facing applications. The front-facing applications include object tracking and gesture recognition while the rear-facing applications include laser-autofocus, camera selection, touch-to-focus, and flash dimming. Furthermore, it is also suitable for personal electronics segments like smart speakers and AR/VR/MR. The sensor can also support indoor/outdoor detection and smart-focus bracketing, as well as consumer LiDAR, where depth mapping is required.
The module embeds a high output 940nm VCSEL light source, a System-on-Chip sensor with an embedded VCSEL driver, the receiving array of SPADs, and a low-power 32-bit MCU core. The VL53L8 adopts a metasurface lens technology in both the transmit and receive apertures. Moreover, like the VL53L5, the new sensor delivers 16 or 64 discrete ranging zones with stable and accurate improved ranging.
The VL53L8 employs an efficient optically diffractive metasurface lens technology, and incorporates a new VCSEL driver that is at least 3 times more capable than the previous generation with an efficient VCSEL. For easy system integration, the sensor is housed in a single reflowable component that offers 1.2V and 1.8V I/O compatibility and significantly reduces the host processor loading over the demands of the first-generation sensor.The VL53L8 retains an IEC 60825-1 Class 1 certification and is fully eye-safe for consumer products with an advanced lens detach detection system.