Intersil's Innovative ToF chip

November 2, 2015 | 01:32
The Intersil ISL29501. Just add an LED or laser emitter and a photodiode
The Intersil ISL29501. Just add an LED or laser emitter and a photodiode
Intersil has introduced the ISL29501 time-of-flight (ToF) signal processing IC that provides an object detection and distance measurement solution when combined with an external emitter (LED or laser) and photodiode. Intersil claim the technology offers significant advantages over traditional amplitude-based proximity sensors and other ToF solutions that often perform poorly in lighting conditions above 2,000 lux, or cannot provide distance information unless the object is perpendicular to the sensor.

The ISL29501 allows customers to select the emitter and photodiode of their choice and configure a low power ToF sensing system customized for their application. Intersil also offer a reference design featuring the ISL29501, emitter and photodiode, along with graphical user interface (GUI) software and user's guide. The ISL29501 applies Intersil's power management expertise to save power and extend battery life through several innovations. The on-chip emitter DAC with programmable current up to 255mA allows system designers to select the desired current level for driving the external infrared (IR) LED or laser. This feature enables optimization of distance measurement, object detection and power budget. Single shot mode saves power by allowing the sampling period to be defined for initial object detection and approximate distance, while continuous mode more accurately measures distance. The ISL29501 also performs system calibration to accommodate performance variations of the external components across temperature and ambient light conditions.

Intersil expect the ISL29501 to find applications for connected devices making up the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as consumer mobile devices and the emerging commercial drone market. The ISL29501 signal processing IC is available now in a low profile 4mm x 5mm, 24-lead TQFN package priced at $4.87 USD in 1k quantities. The ISL29501-ST-EV1Z reference design board is priced at $250 USD. Customers can use it along with Intersil's ToF GUI software and user's guide to design their system.
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