ToF sensor has QVGA resolution, integrated IR bandpass

September 15, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
ToF sensor has QVGA resolution, integrated IR bandpass
Melexis has developed a new version of its time-of-flight 3D camera MLX75026 with a fully integrated infrared bandpass (IRBP) filter. This high degree of integration reduces design complexity and cost, while creating more design choice when sourcing a lens. With the device, the manufacturer targets in-cabin monitoring applications in the first place.

The integration of an infrared bandpass filter removes the need to add a separate bandpass filter, which simplifies design and manufacturing while also increasing the choice of suitable, IR-friendly lenses.

The AEC-Q100 qualified MLX75026 targets automotive use cases like driver monitoring (DMS), in-cabin monitoring, gesture control, safety applications related to airbag deployment, head-up display (HUD) driver alignment and industrial applications like automated guided vehicles (AGVs), elevator entry and (collaborative) robotics.

The integration of the correct IR bandpass filter is not trivial: the passband must be adapted to the illumination and the filter shall accept light from a wide range of incidence at minimal spectral shift (optically hard filter). This facilitates the usage of ToF-lenses with high apertures (low f-number). Melexis is the only ToF sensor manufacturer currently offering this option, which is now available as a variant of the MLX75026. The MLX75026 offers software-compatibility with other Melexis gen 3 ToF sensors.

The MLX75026 with IRBP filter has QVGA (320x240 pixels) resolution with a 1/4 inch optical format and supports 940 nm illumination. Configuration is implemented over an I2C interface and provides CSI-2 serial data output. The high integration, small size and low power consumption of the sensor, coupled with the integration of the IR bandpass filters, enables the design of compact and cost-effective ToF cameras for automotive, industrial and consumer applications.

Samples of the MLX75026 with IRBP filter are available now. A compact high-performance evaluation kit (EVK) will also be released. Incorporating a Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC, the EVK75026+ quadruples the data bandwidth and frame rate of the earlier EVK75026 evaluation kit, while taking up approximately half the size. It offers advanced pixel calibration and filtering functions, plus on-demand support for sophisticated features like ambiguous range extension, multi-path resolving and interference rejection. The programming interface (API), written in C language, includes wrappers that allow the kit to be used with both Matlab and Python.

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