September 24, 2023

Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), a leading American multinational semiconductor company, has recently developed a new Time-of-Flight (ToF) module that represents a significant breakthrough in the field of three-dimensional sensing. The ADTF3175 module is the first high-resolution iToF module offering an image resolution that is twice or triple the pixel count of competing solutions. The module is scalable, engineered, calibrated, and can be integrated into three-dimensional sensing and vision systems without the need for specialized optics or electromechanical integration challenges.

To find out more about the module, DirectIndustry spoke to Tony Zarola, ADI’s Senior Director Time-of-Flight. Explaining the iToF modules, Zarola said that they use scanner-less LIDAR technology and high-power optical pulses of nanoseconds to capture depth information from a scene of interest. By emitting modulated light source and capturing reflected light, a sensor measures the time delay between the two, which is proportional to twice the distance between the camera and the object, helping estimate the depth of the scene.

One of the most innovative aspects of the ADTF3175 module is its industrial quality, high resolution, and one-megapixel sensor with +/- 3 mm depth resolution within a range of 40 cm to 4 meters. The module offers machine vision applications and eliminates the need for specialized optics or electromechanical integration challenges, thus speeding up the sensor design process.

Regarding potential applications, Zarola explained that the module has a diverse range of applications, from logistics, healthcare, robotics, to augmented reality. In industrial automation such as fulfillment centers, the ADTF3175 module’s accuracy in depth perception ensures that the right objects are picked, and robots are placed in the right places. Also, with the ToF technology, users can get more accurate dimensional measurements of the merchandise, making it possible to use space more efficiently.

Coming to the metaverse, Zarola explained how the ADTF3175 module’s real-time and accurate depth perception could help create highly accurate digital renderings of real-world environments. In the future, the module could find its way into virtual or augmented reality applications, helping users perform tasks such as tracking their hand movements or seeing the distance between their hands and a rendered image.

Zarola indicated that ADI’s vision is to develop a portfolio of modules with application-specific features and capabilities that can be adapted to a specific application’s field of view and illumination approach.

In conclusion, ADI’s new ADTF3175 ToF module represents significant progress in three-dimensional sensing, offering high resolution, robustness, and adaptability to multiple use cases, from logistics to metaverse creation, robotics, and healthcare.