Industry-Leading Proximity Sensor from STMicroelectronics Brings Superior Distance Sensing to Mobile Phones, Consumer White Goods, and Industrial Applications



FlightSense™ technology incorporated in LG G3 smartphone’s camera auto-focus assist

  • Volume production of VL6180X sensor module, with explorer kit, boosts accessibility to ST’s FlightSense™ high-accuracy optical distance-detection technology
  • FlightSense time-of-flight measurement technique delivers superior ranging performance compared to conventional estimation techniques that are based on reflected signal amplitude measurement only
  • LG is a leading adopter, using FlightSense for advanced camera auto-focus assist in the G3 smartphone launched earlier in 2014

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has revealed a new highly accurate optical range-finding module based on FlightSense™ Time-of-Flight technology that offers designers superior distance-measurement capability.

FlightSense™ provides accurate distance sensing by measuring the time for emitted light to reflect back from the target, whereas conventional sensors can only report reflected signal levels and not absolute distance. ST’s FlightSense™ technology brings unique advantages versus conventional infrared sensors; measuring longer ranges that are independent of the target reflectivity, at high frame rate and low power.

ST’s VL6180X module combines FlightSense™ proximity sensing with an ambient-light sensor (ALS) and supports basic gesture recognition to simplify the user-interface design while also offering enhanced performance. This new device supports a wide range of creative use cases across multiple markets, including smartphones, tablets, and game controllers, while also improving the performance of consumer appliances and industrial products.

Global electronics giant LG utilizes the FlightSense™ technology to assist the laser auto-focus performance of its G3 smartphone.

The VL6180X module is offered in a compact 4.8mm x 2.8mm x 1.0mm optical LGA12 package and can accurately measure the distance to objects at up to 100mm or even farther, subject to operating conditions. The module provides an I2C interface for host control and reading ranging or ambient light level results, as well as two programmable GPIO pins that can be configured to implement threshold applications.

Designers can easily discover all the possibilities of ST’s latest proximity-sensor module with the newly introduced VL6180X Explorer evaluation kit. The kit not only allows the customer to quickly get started with FlightSense™ technology, but also supports the development of applications in a real device. It combines a USB-pluggable STM32Nucleo board and VL6180X sensor shield containing the sensor, a 4-digit LED display, and a slider switch to control the ranging and ALS functions. The display shows either the distance to the target or the ambient light level.

The VL6180X sensor is in full production now, priced from $2.50 at the minimum order quantity of 5,000 units, and the VL6180X Explorer kit is available immediately, priced from $19.69 per unit.

For further information, please visit www.st.com/proximitysensor


About STMicroelectronics

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 2013, the Company’s net revenues were $8.08 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.

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