Shenzhen Nephotonics Technology launched the first mass-produced ultra-small single-point ToF sensor


According to a report from Memes Consulting recently, the first-generation time of flight (ToF) sensor  independent search and developed(R&D) by Nephotonics Technology,i.e ND01, has entered the stage of mass production. This is also the first independent R&D mass-produced 1d ToF sensor  in China.

Ultra-small 1d ToF sensor, compact in size, based on the principle of time-of-flight ranging, emits near-infrared light through the built-in VCSEL light source, reflects the light when it encounters an object in front, and then receives the measured time of flight by the ToF receiving chip. Thus, the distance information is calculated. It is mainly used for short-range accurate ranging, such as sweepers, service robots, etc., and for detect surrounding objects, walls or ground distances, to realize functions such as obstacle avoidance, wall detection, and cliff detection.


Ultra-small-size 1d ranging sensor is an emerging technology in recent years. It is well known that after the release of Apple iPhone X, the shipment of mobile phones with face recognition function has increased rapidly. which is used 1d ranging sensor. It works before the face recognition device is started, which can play a role in energy saving. Not only that, the application scenarios that need to use the 1d ranging sensor on mobile phones are increasing gradually , such as camera-assisted focusing, background blur, etc. There are also many applications of 1d ranging sensors in some application scenarios, such as applications in smart homes, obstacle avoidance of sweeping robots,  eye protection of tablet or learning machine, energy-saving assistance, and so on.

The ND01 1d ToF sensor is such a short-range ranging sensor that can be used indoors and outdoors. It has the characteristics of high precision, small size, stable ranging, and low power consumption. It is suitable for mobile phones, tablets, sweepers, robots, AR/VR equipment, smart door locks, smart bathrooms and other scenarios,which can realize camera-assisted focusing, energy saving, obstacle avoidance, presence detection and other functions.


Figure 2 Single-point ToF sensor ND01

Although the size of ND01 is only 4.9mm x 2.5mm x 1.0mm, the sensor integrates multiple components. The receiving end is a high-precision ToF chip independent designed by Nephotonics Technology, and the transmitting end is a  miniature vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) that meet  human eye safety Class 1 standard. In addition, it also has built-in components such as control arithmetic unit and optical lens. The ND01 can achieve a ranging accuracy error within 4% within a measurement range of 2cm to 1m, and within a short distance of 30cm, the measurement error is less than 1cm.

For the application scenarios in outdoor with sunlight, ND01 has been optimized in chip design, optical components and software algorithms. After testing, in the outdoor environment with strong sunlight, the ranging distance and accuracy have been greatly improved compared with similar products on the market. In response to problems such as cover plate and cover plate contamination, Nephotonics also provides reliable algorithm and hardware reference design support for ND01.

In September this year, at the CIOE Optical Expo held in Shenzhen, Nephotonics Technology exhibited the 1d ToF sensor ND01 for the first time, attracting many on-site professional audiences to visit. At present, the 1d ToF sensor launched by Nephotonics Technology has entered the stage of mass production, and also shipped in many fields such as consumer goods, smart lamps and industry.

The package form of ND01 1d sensor  is OLGA 12-pin, equipped with relevant technical documents, which is convenient for rapid integration into various end applications, and the supporting miniaturized evaluation board has also been launched simultaneously.


Figure 3 ND01 evaluation board

Article source: Maimus Consulting