STMicroelectronics Delivers Next-Generation FlightSense Time-of-Flight Sensor with 4-Meter Range and Auto Power-Saving

STMicroelectronics VL53L1X

The VL53L1X time-of-flight sensor from STMicroelectronics extends the detection range of ST’s FlightSense technology to four meters, bringing high-accuracy, low-power distance measurement, and proximity detection to an even wider variety of applications.

Unlike other proximity sensors that use simple IR (Infra-Red) technology, which only measure signal strength and can be affected by the object’s reflectivity, FlightSense sensors directly measure distance to the object based on the time for emitted photons to be reflected, enabling accurate distance-ranging regardless of the object’s surface characteristics.

STmicroelectronics: VL53L1X FlightSense Long-distance sensor

With low power consumption and fast ranging performance, the VL53L1X is ideal for mobile robotics for wall following, cliff detection, collision avoidance and hover/landing assistance for drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The power-saving presence-detection mode enables innovative auto-sleep/wake-on-approach use cases for PCs, notebooks and IoT devices, in addition to camera auto-focus assist, and gesture recognition. Further applications include washroom automation in toilets, faucets or soap dispensers, and package counting to aid inventory management in vending machines or smart-shelf systems.

Key Features

  • Fully integrated miniature module
    • Size: 4.9 mm × 2.5 mm × 1.56 mm
    • Emitter: 940 nm invisible laser (Class1)
    • SPAD (single photon avalanche diode) receiving array with integrated lens
    • Low-power microcontroller running advanced digital firmware
  • Pin-to-pin compatible with the VL53L0X FlightSense ranging sensor
  • Fast and accurate long distance ranging
    • Up to 400 cm distance measurement
    • Up to 50 Hz ranging frequency
  • Typical full field-of-view (FoV): 27°
  • Programmable region-of-interest (ROI) size on the receiving array, allowing the sensor FoV to be reduced
  • Programmable ROI position on the receiving array, providing multizone operation control from the host
  • Easy integration
    • Single reflowable component
    • Can be hidden behind many cover window materials
    • Software driver and code examples for turnkey ranging
    • Single power supply (2.8 V)
    • I²C interface (up to 1 MHz)
    • Shutdown and interrupt pins

The fully integrated and miniaturized VL53L1X measures only 4.9 mm × 2.5 mm x 1.56 mm, allowing use even where space is very limited. It is also pin-compatible with its predecessor, the VL53L0X, allowing easy upgrading of existing products. The compact package contains the laser driver and emitter as well as the Single-Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) light receiver that gives ST’s FlightSense sensors their unrivaled ranging speed and reliability. Furthermore, the 940nm emitter, operating in the non-visible spectrum, eliminates distracting light emission and can be hidden behind a protective window without impairing measurement performance.

New sensor can be tested using STMicro P-NUCLEO-53L1A1 Nucleo pack for STM32 Nucleo or X-NUCLEO-53L1A1 expansion board for STM32 Nucleo with you already own NUCLEO-F401RE and NUCLEO-L476RG  development board.

FlightSense technology is already used in a range of products marketed successfully worldwide. The VL53L1X is in production now.

JLCPCP: 2USD 2Layer 5PCBs, 5USD 4Layer 5PCBs

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