STMicroelectronics Proximity Sensor Solves Smartphone Hang-ups
"This marks the first time that Time-of-Flight technology has been made available in a form factor small enough to integrate into the most space-constrained smartphones,” said Arnaud Laflaquière, General Manager of ST’s Imaging Division. “This technology breakthrough brings a major performance enhancement over existing proximity sensors, solving the face hang-up issues of current smartphone and also enabling new innovative ways for users to interact with their devices."The key to ST’s patented new solution is an infra-red emitter that sends out light pulses, an ultra-fast light detector that picks up the reflected pulses, and electronic circuitry that accurately measures the time difference between the emission of a pulse and the detection of its reflection.
Combining electronic, optical and packaging unique expertise from across the company, the VL6180 embeds both a robust ranging time-of-flight sensor and a wide dynamic ambient light sensor die, along with an infra-red emitter. Thanks to its all-in-one, ready- to-use architecture, the VL6180 is easy to integrate and saves the phone-makers long and costly optical and mechanical design optimizations.
Addressing dropped calls is not the only benefit that ST’s new technology brings to the smartphone market. The ability to measure a reliable absolute distance from the phone to a hand or other object opens up new user interaction scenarios that phone manufacturers and app developers can rapidly exploit. At the World Mobile Congress (Barcelona, Feb 25-28, Hall 7, Booth E110), ST will demonstrate the proximity sensor performance and some innovative apps, underlining the Company’s commitment to Wireless and Imaging and the unique combination of strengths ST brings to the market.
ST is a global leader in the semiconductor market serving customers across the spectrum of sense and power and automotive products and embedded processing solutions. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a positive and innovative contribution to people's life. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.
In 2012, the Company’s net revenues were $8.49 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com