ST Micro next-generation time-of-flight multizone sensor (VL53L5)


ST Micro has launched a new time-of-flight sensor, VL53L5. It has an extended range of up to 4 meters with high accuracy, although accuracy numbers are not mentioned in the datasheet. It can sample at a 60Hz rate, which is really quick.

ST Microelectronics already has a range of proximity sensors based on time-of-flight technology, a very popular one is VL53L0X.

ST Micro next-generation time-of-flight multizone sensor (VL53L5) 1


  • Fully integrated miniature module with only 6.4 x 3.0 x 1.5 mm, available in LGA16 package
  • Uses receiving array of single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs)
  • Fast, accurate distance ranging
    • Parallel multi-zone output; either 4×4 or 8×8 separate regions of interest (ROI)
    • Up to 400 cm ranging, 60 Hz frame rate capability
    • Histogram processing and algorithmic compensation minimizes or removes the impact of cover glass crosstalk
    • Dynamic crosstalk compensation for fingerprint smudge via latest patented ToF techniques
  • Easy integration
    • Single reflowable component
    • Flexible power supply options, single 3.3 V or 2.8 V operation or combination of either 3.3 V or 2.8 V AVDD with 1.8 V IOVDD
    • Compatible with a wide range of cover glass materials
    • I²C or SPI interface
    • Low-power pin and two general-purpose inputs (GPIOs) for interrupt and synchronization
    • Full set of software drivers (Linux and Android compatible) for turnkey ranging

Real world applications

  • Laser-assisted autofocus (LAF) enhances the camera AF system speed and robustness, especially in difficult low light or low contrast scenes. VL53L5 can be used as a companion for phase detection autofocus (PDAF) sensors.
  • Scene understanding. Multi-zone and multi-object distance detection enable touch-to-focus or focus bracketing.
  • Camera assist with flash dimming, indoor/outdoor detection, and background removal assist.
  • Augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) enhancements with dual-camera stereoscopy and 3D depth assistance thanks to multi-zone distance measurement
  • Video focus tracking. 60 Hz sampling rate allows optimization of continuous focus algorithm

VL53L5 Application Circuit

One can very easily connect the sensor over I2C or SPI interface as shown in the application circuits below:

ST Micro next-generation time-of-flight multizone sensor (VL53L5) 2

You can learn more from their product page and the datasheet.

Read my other blogs and interesting articles on embedded system design here.

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Happy Learning to you!

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