Proximity Sensors

ST has introduced a new generation of high-performance proximity and ranging sensors, based on FlightSense™ Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology.

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.

FlightSense™ products are packaged in “all-in-one” miniature module which contain the laser driver and emitter as well as the Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) light receiver that gives ST’s sensors their unrivaled ranging speed and reliability.

This advanced ToF solution combines the benefits of ST’s unique SPAD technology with our mature in-house imaging process and high-volume packaging facilities. It is ideally suited to a wide range of applications that require:

  • Accurate and high-speed distance measurement
  • Low power consumption
  • Competitive system cost
  • Easy integration with flexible mechanical design

FlightSenseTM technology and ranging sensors can be used in a host of application area:

  • Proximity sensing
  • Camera autofocus and Video assist
  • Vacuum cleaners, service robots and toys for wall following, cliff detection, collision avoidance
  • Hover / landing assistance for drones
  • Home appliances: Ambient light sensing, gesture recognition for light management, automatic doors control
  • Special power-saving presence detection mode enables innovative auto-sleep/wake-on-approach use cases for PCs, notebooks and IoT devices
  • 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.

FlightSense™ proximity and ranging sensors are supplied with a complete documentation package, example source codes and a software API (application programming interface) which is compatible with a range of microcontrollers and processors. The application software development and the physical integration into customers’ devices is easy thanks to the X-NUCLEO expansion board, breakout boards and associated development ecosystem.