ST has developed and patented its own technology, called FlightSenseTM, using Time-of-Flight (ToF) principle in order to propose new generation of high-accuracy proximity sensors.
FlightSenseTM technology based products are packaged in a module that integrates the proximity sensor Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) array, Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) as well as the Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) used by the proximity sensor feature, thus greatly easing the product integration.
Using a mature in-house imaging process and an in-house high-volume packaging solution, this advanced technology is ideally suited to a wide range of applications that require:
- Competitive system cost
- Very small package footprint
- Low power consumption.
FlightSenseTM technology can be used in a host of application areas where accurate ranging, that is target reflectance independent, is required; as conventional IR proximity sensor devices cannot output an absolute range measure in the same manner:
- Communication and consumer: browsing, remote control, proximity sensing, autofocus assist
- Home appliance: gesture for light management, robot cleaners, toys, drinking machines
- Automotive: on-board computer control with gesture
- Industrial: proximity and light detection, door control, robotics.
Time-of-flight 3-in-1 module with proximity sensor, gesture and ambient light sensing
A complete development eco-system is available for evaluating the VL6180X, the first fully integrated proximity and ambient light sensor based on FlightSense™, ST’s patented time-of-flight technology.
Two very user-friendly Nucleo evaluation packs including an STM32 Nucleo board and VL6180X expansion board are available. The P-NUCLEO-6180X1 includes a full-feature STM32F401 microcontroller, while the P-NUCLEO-6180X2 has an ultra-low-power STM32L053 microcontroller.
You can even connect up to three additional external small PCBs, VL6180X-SATEL satellites, to these expansion boards in order to integrate the VL6180X proximity sensors directly into your devices.
These evaluation kits will let you become familiar with the features and performance of the VL6180X and start developing your own applications.
The Nucleo evaluation packs can be used stand-alone, just with an USB connection for power supply, or can be connected to a PC, using an advanced GUI.
A complete firmware package (X-CUBE-6180XA1) is available and includes binary code to flash the STM32 Nucleo boards and source code examples compliant with STM32Cube embedded software.
Another more advanced evaluation kit is available, EVAL-VL6180X, including a glass cover and various spacers, as well as a calibration target, in order to test various glass materials for integration in the final product.