A Direct Time-of-flight Image Sensor with in-pixel Surface Detection and Dynamic Vision

Istvan Gyongy, Ahmet Erdogan, Neale Dutton, Germán Mora Martín, Alistair Gorman, Hanning Mai, Francesco Mattioli Della Rocca, Robert K. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

3D flash LIDAR is an alternative to the traditional scanning LIDAR systems, promising precise depth imaging in a compact form factor, and free of moving parts, for applications such as self-driving cars, robotics and augmented reality (AR). Typically implemented using single-photon, direct time-of-flight (dToF) receivers in image sensor format, the operation of the devices can be hindered by the large number of photon events needing to be processed and compressed in outdoor scenarios, limiting frame rates and scalability to larger arrays. We here present a 64x32 pixel (256x128 SPAD) dToF imager that overcomes these limitations by using pixels with embedded histogramming, which lock onto and track the return signal. This reduces the size of output data frames considerably, enabling maximum frame rates in the 10 kFPS range or 100 kFPS for direct depth readings. The sensor offers selective readout of pixels detecting surfaces, or those sensing motion, akin to dynamic vision sensors that report changes in light intensity, leading to reduced power consumption and off-chip processing requirements. We demonstrate the application of the sensor in mid-range LIDAR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Early online date20 Jan 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jan 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'A Direct Time-of-flight Image Sensor with in-pixel Surface Detection and Dynamic Vision'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this