ToF sensor supports functional safety applications

26-06-2023 | Melexis | Test & Measurement

Melexis strengthens its position in ToF technology via further product range expansion. The new MLX75027RTI meets the functional safety necessities of automotive and industrial customers.

The VGA resolution ToF sensor, ASIL-capable, is targeted at inclusion in safety critical systems where ASIL or SIL certification is required. It has a physical 307kpixel spatial resolution. Key use cases for this sensor are dynamic airbag suppression (so airbags are not deployed unnecessarily), driver attention monitoring and close-range exterior LiDAR. It can also provide safety perimeters for industrial cameras, support the control of robots' movements, and enable more advanced machine vision.

Pivotal to the device is a BSI imaging technology. It combines the company's automotive expertise with Sony's proprietary DepthSense ToF pixel. The device produces an exceptional 135 depth frames per second.

This sensor package is smaller than its current generation device, resulting in a 50% reduction in size. Therefore, more compact imaging systems can be developed. Optimisation of the chief ray angle of the integrated MLA simplifies the overall optical system. The new MLX75027 is obtainable in automotive and industrial variants. The MLX75027RTI is designed for automotive usage and features a -40C to +105C temperature range, while the MLX75027STI is for industrial applications with a -20C to +85C temperature range. Another important feature of the family is its proven sunlight robustness, indicating that the external environment does not affect the signal quality.

The company provides dedicated safety integration guidelines to assist engineers with designing and implementing ASIL/SIL systems.

"The emerging NCAP regulations will boost the use of in-cabin monitoring for safety applications. It will become increasingly essential in industrial and mass market applications too," states Gualtiero Bagnuoli, Optical Sensors marketing manager at Melexis. "Our time-of-flight sensor family is already broadly used. Now, with the introduction of the MLX75027RTI, we support system-level functional safety integrations."

By Seb Springall