Melexis rolls automotive single-chip time-of-flight sensor: Page 2 of 2

March 05, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Melexis rolls automotive single-chip time-of-flight sensor
With the MLX75027, chipmaker Melexis is introducing an improved and enhanced version of a Time-of-flight sensor developed in 2014 by SoftKinetic which later was acquired by Sony. Following a licensing agreement with the latter, Melexis turned this sensor into a single-chip solution and combines it with a matching SDK. Target applications include in-car and exterior monitoring.

Key features of the MLX75027 include support for modulation frequencies up to 100MHz, which allows manufacturers to take advantage of the full potential of VCSEL to achieve high distance accuracy. In addition, the device supports a frame rate of up to 135 frames per second (FPS), enabling the detection and tracking of fast moving objects. It combines low power dissipation of just 230 mW at 30 FPS with  a  power supply scheme that only requires  3 voltage domains (2.7V,  1.8V and 1.2V), which simplifies system design and helps lower the cost  of the power supply unit.  

The MLX75027 uses Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation’s Back Illumination technology and includes advanced features, such as programmable region of interest as well as continuous or triggered operation. System level interfaces include CSI-2 serial data output, MIPI D-PHY and I2C. 

The  MLX75027 ToF sensor is supported by the EVK75027 evaluation kit, which represents a complete ToF camera that can be directly connected to a PC for visualization and recording of depth map data, while allowing direct access to many of the MLX75027’s configuration settings.

The kit consists of four stacked PCBs, comprising (from top to bottom): the illumination board, the ToF sensor board, an interface board, and a processor board. It is also possible to detach the PCBs and connect  the sensor to another processor board or use a different illumination unit.  A graphical user interface for Windows is provided for live depth map visualization, basic recording, analysis and configuration. To support custom software development, a MATLAB SDK and C API are also provided. The built-in flexibility of the evaluation kit enables any designer to quickly develop the necessary system knowledge and product experience to develop their own application.

The evaluation kit  EVK75027-110-940-1  is available with 940 nm VCSEL illumination and 110°field of view optics with built-in band pass filter. The evaluation kit is available now from Melexis’ distributors. Sampling of the MLX75027 will start in July 2019.

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