STMicroelectronics VL53L7CX is the latest FlightSense multi-zone Time-of-Flight (ToF) distance sensor from the company with the main highlight between its camera-like 90° diagonal field of view, derived from a 60° x 60° field of view…
This is a significant improvement over the 61° diagonal field of view of the previous generation ToF sensors such as the VL53L8 or VL53L5CP, and the wider field-of-view is said to bring “lifelike situational awareness” to applications like home automation, computers, house appliances, robots, and industrial equipment with full-privacy since ToF sensors do not capture photos or videos like traditional cameras.
STMicro VL53L7CX key features and specifications:
- 940 nm invisible light vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) and integrated analog driver
- 60° x 60° square field of view (FoV) (90° diagonal) using diffractive optical elements (DOE) on both transmitter and receiver enabling square FoV
- Receiving array of single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs)
- Multizone ranging output with either 4×4 or 8×8 separate zones
- Multitarget detection and distance measurement in each zone
- Ranging – 2cm to 350 cm
- 60 Hz frame rate capability
- Low-power microcontroller running the firmware
- Host interface – I2C or SPI
- Power Management
- IOVDD – 1.8V
- AVDD – 3.3 V or 2.8 V
- Autonomous low-power mode (5.4mW) with interrupt programmable threshold to wake up the host
- Dimensions – 6.4 x 3.0 x 1.6 mm (LGA16 package)
STMicro says it’s a single reflowable component that is compatible with a wide range of cover glass materials, and more importantly, it’s pin-to-pin and driver compatible with the VL53L5CX, so customers wanting a larger field of view could simply replace the sensor without having to redesign their products.
FlightSense multi-zone sensors support 3D scene mapping and distance measurement to multiple objects in multiple zones to enable applications such as people detection and tracking, over-shoulder warning, occupancy detection, and storage/parking management. It can also be used for hand tracking enabling gesture recognition, and all sorts of tasks such as full and empty trash bin tracking, floor sensing, cliff prediction, obstacle avoidance, and small object detection for robots.
STMicro provides hardware devkits for evaluation such as the VL53L7CX expansion board (X-NUCLEO-53L7A1) pictured above with two SATEL-VL53L7CX breakout board, and a development pack with the VL53L7CX board and an STM32F401 Nucleo board. Software tools include the Ultra Lite Driver, Linux driver, and STGesture code examples, as well as the X-CUBE-TOF1 software pack for fast STM32 microcontroller programming with code examples and compatible with the STM32CubeMX tools.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.