Gpixel, Tower Semiconductor Introduce Cutting-Edge iToF Sensor for 3D Imaging Applications

Posted May 07, 2021

Tower Semiconductor, the leading foundry of high value analog semiconductor solutions, in partnership with leading CMOS image sensors expert, Gpixel, has announced Gipxel’s new indirect Time of Flight (iToF) sensor for 3D imaging, GTOF0503, utilizing TOWER’s pixel on its 65nm leading pixel-level stacked BSI CIS technology fabricated in its Uozo, Japan facility. The advanced GTOF0503 sensor features a 5um 3-tap state-of-the-art iToF pixel incorporating a pixel array with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, offering superb performance for a broad range of fast-growing depth sensing and distance measurement applications in markets such as vision-guided robotics, bin picking, automated guided vehicles, automotive and factory automation applications. According to Yole Development, the market is currently estimated at ~$4B and is expected to grow to ~$8B by 2025.

We are very proud to announce the release of our new iToF sensor, entering the 3D imaging market, made possible by our collaboration with Tower’s team. Tower’s vast expertise in development of iToF image sensor technology provided an outstanding platform for the design of this cutting-edge performing product,” said Wim Wuyts, Chief Commercial Officer, Gpixel.” This collaboration produced a unique sensor product that is perfectly suited to serve a wide variety of fast-growing applications and sets a roadmap for future successful developments.”

The unique features of the GTOF0503 sensor are the combination of a small, cost-effective footprint with industry-leading depth accuracy at short, mid and long-range distances. This allows for exceptional depth-sensing even in challenging ambient light conditions by using pulse modulation iToF technique. A demodulation contrast of > 80% is achieved with modulation frequencies of up to 165 MHz at either 60 depth frames per second (fps) in Single Modulation Frequency (SMF) or 30 fps in Dual Modulation Frequency (DMF) depth mode.

Tower is excited to take an important role in this extraordinary project, collaborating with Gpixel’s talented team of experts in the field of sensor development and bringing to market this new, cutting-edge iToF sensor,” said Dr. Avi Strum, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sensors & Displays Business Unit, Tower Semiconductor. “Gpxiel is a valuable and long-term partner, and we are confident that this partnership will continue to bring to market additional intriguing solutions”.

Advanced features such as integrated light source control, 2x2 and 4x4 digital binning, H/V image flipping, multiple ROI readout to boost fps, several supported acquisition modes, depth measurement with both single and dual frequency, low-power standby modes, and an industry-standard MIPI CSI-2 high-speed interface, enable versatile use and flexible operation, providing a cost-effective all-in solution, making this product the ultimate choice for various 3D imaging applications.

The GTOF0503 is both available as bare die and in a 11 x 11 mm ceramic package. Samples (bare die) and evaluation kits are available as well.