3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors for consumer applications




Very exciting to recall that, the Lenovo Phab2Pro (smartphone) brings totally new functionality based on the Google Tango Project. This project, a collaboration including Infineon, pmd and Sunny Optical, has developed 3D ToF sensors for consumer applications.

For those who are unfamiliar, the Phab2Pro implements this technology using a tri-camera sensor. The subsystem features a 16 megapixel resolution CMOS image sensor (CIS) from Samsung, a VGA resolution CIS with global shutter technology from Omnivision, and a 38 kilopixel resolution 3D Image Sensor from the collaboration between Infineon and pmd integrated into a subsystem with a NIR vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL).
I can also observe that, to provide the 3D scene, the tri-camera's high-resolution camera supplies the texture and the global shutter camera supplies the motion-tracking. Finally, the ToF sensor supplies the depth perception at a high rate thanks to the VCSEL emitter, which gives the phone the ability to understand space and motion quickly, like a human.

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