Gpixel enters time-of-flight 3D imaging market

May 07, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Gpixel enters time-of-flight 3D imaging market
Gpixel Changchun Optotech Inc. (Changchun, China) has announced the first product in its GTOF 3D sensor family targeting a range of depth-sensing and distance-measurement applications.

The GTOF0503 is an indirect time-of-flight sensor for 3D imaging that is made using Tower Semiconductor's 65nm stacked back-side illuminated CMOS image sensor manufacturing process. It is manufactured at Tower's Uozo facility in Japan.

The sensor features a 5-micron three-tap iToF pixel with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels making it suitable for such applications as vision-guided robotics, bin picking, automated guided vehicles, automotive and factory automation applications. According to market analysis firm Yole Development, the ToF sensor market is currently worth about $4 billion annually and is expected to grow to approximately $8 billion by 2025.

The GTOF0503 sensor combines a small, low-cost footprint with useful depth accuracy at short, mid and long-range distances. This is achieved even in challenging ambient light conditions by using pulse modulation iToF technique, Tower said, in a statement.

 A demodulation contrast of greater than 80 percent is achieved with modulation frequencies of up to 165MHz at either 60 frames per second (fps) in Single Modulation Frequency (SMF) or 30 fps in Dual Modulation Frequency (DMF) depth mode. 

Advanced features include integrated light source control, 2 by 2 and 4 by 4 digital pixel binning, horizontal/vertical image flipping, multiple region-of-interest readout to boost fps, several supported acquisition modes, depth measurement with both single and dual frequency, low-power standby modes, and a MIPI CSI-2 interface.

"Tower's vast expertise in development of iToF image sensor technology provided an outstanding platform for the design of this cutting-edge performing product," said Wim Wuyts, chief commercial officer at Gpixel, in a statement issued by Tower.

GTOF0503 is both available as bare die and in a 9mm by 9mm ceramic package. Samples of bare die and evaluation kits are available.

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