pmd Technologies is showcasing its new 3D imager IRS238XC for the first time at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. The imager has been jointly developed by pmd and Infineon Technologies and addresses the rapidly growing market for 3D depth sensing. The demand for depth sensing in smartphones is significantly increasing since the launch of the iPhone X, which uses depth sensing technology for user facing applications like animojis or face authentication (FaceID).
As pmd’s 3D depth sensing technology has gained significant market access by being integrated in already launched devices like smartphones, AR headsets, intelligent home devices or robots, pmd has learned valuable lessons about market requirements and therefore the IRS238XC takes Time-of-Flight 3D cameras where the market expects integrable depth sensing to be.
The ease of the camera module layout and integration has been significantly improved by integrating dedicated functions to support the laser class 1 compliance of 3D depth sensing camera modules. The integrated MIPI interface and integrated digital logic make it easy and convenient to operate the 3D camera module. The IRS238XC features in each pixel the Suppression of Background Illumination (SBI) circuitry, which enables robust outdoor depth sensing in full sunlight. Additionally the 38.000 pixels of the IRS238XC provide a higher resolution than any existing integrable 3D depth sensing chip and are tuned to work also at 940 nm wavelength to further improve outdoor operation.
Last but not least, reference camera modules for the IRS238XC, which are shown in pmd’s Suite at CES, are showcasing a footprint of 12mm x 8mm, including imager, lens, IR emitter and all relevant circuitries and therefore are the smallest 3D camera modules available worldwide. The IRS238XC will address the demand for 3D depth sensing cameras for face authentication, for which software partners of pmd and Infineon offer corresponding application software. Notwithstanding, it is expected to be adopted for other devices like AR/VR headsets, robots, drones and intelligent home devices as well.
Established module maker partners, who have already proven that 3D cameras using imagers from pmd and Infineon can be produced in volumes with high yield and a most stable once-in-a-lifetime calibration will also be available for taking modules, which use the new IRS238XC, to volume production accordingly.