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Sony released 3D BSI ToF image sensor IMX456QL

Sony recently released a VGA resolution (300,000 pixels) ToF image sensor for all kinds of 3D imaging applications. The new model is named IMX456, which is a 1/2-inch optical format Exmor Time of Flight image sensor, the sample will be available in April, 2018. The IMX456 is a new 3D image sensor in Sony’s DepthSense series product portfolio. DepthSense series products feature Time of Flight function, can be widely used for 3D, VR and more applications.

Sony ToF sensor can be used for applications such as gesture recognition, object identification, barrier identification and more such kind of depth sensing and measuring applications, it also can be applied to robots and UAV, or VR products.

A time-of-flight camera (ToF camera) is a range imaging camera system that resolves distance based on the known speed of light, measuring the time-of-flight of a light signal between the camera and the subject for each point of the image. The time-of-flight camera is a class of scannerless LIDAR, in which the entire scene is captured with each laser or light pulse, as opposed to point-by-point with a laser beam such as in scanning LIDAR systems. Sony adopts Exmor CMOS image sensor architecture to accurately detect reflecting light, overcome the bottleneck that traditional FSI ToF image sensor can not measure object which is up to 10 meters. Sony BSI ToF new sensor have greatly improved its sensitivity, the measurable distance is more than 10 metre, it also can capture depth image within distance range from 30cm to 1 metre.

Sony IMX456 3D ToF CMOS Sensor
Original Image Captured by Normal CMOS Sensor                     3D Depth Image Captured by Sony IMX456
3D Modelling Monochrome and Depth Image (Object Distance is 0.5 Metre)
3D Modelling Monochrome and Depth Image (Object Distance is 0.5 Metre)
Sony IMX456 Specification
Model IMX456QL
Image size Diagonal 8.0mm (type 1/2)
Format 4:3
Technology Back illuminated
Number of effective pixels 649 (H) x 480 (V) Approx. 0.307MP
Unit cell size (H)x(V) 10.0um x 10.0um
Recommended light source wavelength 850nm/940nm
Modulation frequency 5 - 100MHz
Modulation Contrast 0.8
Depth sensing frame rate 120fps
Distance precision at 1 m 6mm

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