Compact ams time-to-digital converter provides high precision in optical ranging and 3D scanning

ams AS6500

AS6500 in small 6 mm × 6 mm package measures time intervals to a resolution of 10 ps

ams has introduced the AS6500, a new high-resolution time-to-digital converter (TDC) featuring CMOS inputs and compact packaging for use in space- and cost-constrained applications.

ams - AS6500

TDCs from ams can measure time intervals as short as 5 ns with 10 ps precision. The AS6500 is based on the existing ams TDC-GPX2, and offers resolution up to 10 ps on four channels and a sampling rate of up to 1.5 Msamples/s.

With high precision and a high sampling rate, light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and optical ranging systems in cars, drones and robots can make extremely detailed and accurate ranging measurements with a wide field of view, enabling them to perform accurate object detection and avoidance. In virtual- and augmented-reality applications, real-time 3D image rendering is supported by high sampling speeds and precision in one-centimeter detail.

The AS6500 TDC is optimized for space, power and cost. Like the TDC-GPX2, it is an integrated four-channel converter IC offering single-measurement resolution of up to 20 psrms per channel in normal mode, and 20 ns pulse-to-pulse spacing. Operating in dual-channel high-resolution mode, it can achieve a maximum resolution of 10 psrms with 5 ns pulse-to-pulse spacing.

The AS6500 is housed in a new, smaller 40-lead QFN package with a footprint of just 6 mm × 6 mm, making it 56% smaller than the TDC-GPX2. Its highly integrated design, which includes a 2 MHz-12.5 MHz reference clock input, means that few external components are required alongside the device.

Operating from a 3.3 V supply, the AS6500 typically consumes just 60 mW in normal operation, and draws 60 µA in stand-by mode. It supports CMOS interfaces from a host system, and provides its calibrated output as a digital signal over a standard serial peripheral interface (SPI), for easy data processing in a host controller or processor.

The AS6500 is ideal for optical applications including general-purpose laser distance measurement in 1D, 2D and 3D, speed control, vehicle/truck scanning, object recognition, time-of-flight spectroscopy, automated test equipment (ATE), biomedical technology and analytics.

ams supplies a development kit, the AS6500-QF_DK, which includes a programmer and GUI software for PCs, enabling users to configure and connect their Start and Stop signals and begin taking sample time measurements within minutes.

AS6500-QF_DK Development Kit
AS6500-QF_DK Development Kit.

The AS6500 is available now in production volume. Unit pricing is available on request from ams.

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