Support for Sony SWIR and ToF sensors

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FRAMOS, a global leader in machine vision systems, continues to expand its portfolio and support for the latest ToF and SWIR sensors by developing comprehensive support packages for these innovative vision technologies. Support includes product-specific reference designs and corresponding embedded vision development kits. With the kits – comprising sensor modules, RX/TX boards, lenses, drivers and adapters – customers can easily take a ToF and SWIR imaging project from concept to production. FRAMOS offers a support package for the new IMX570 sensor to generate 3D depth maps, for example. Or for the IMX990, in the SWIR spectrum, users can capture images within the 0.9-1.7 μm wavelength range. These packages are supported on the NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier platform which allows and engineer to quickly create a proof of concept. This enables FRAMOS’s customers, who want to develop ToF or SWIR-based cameras but who have not yet experienced these technologies, to start development immediately and without expert knowledge.

ToF Sensors For 3D Applications in Difficult Lighting Conditions

With ToF image sensors, each pixel captures distance information to create a highly accurate depth map. Sony’s new IMX570 sensor represents the latest technology (iToF). Compared to other typical ToF systems, it features high resolution, and high accuracy in a smaller sensor size. iToF sensors, such as the new IMX570, are particularly effective at fast, high-resolution 3D object detection – at both short and long distances. The IMX570 is a VGA sensor (1/4.5 type) with a 5 µm pixel size that achieves up to 56 fps.

FRAMOS showcased their sensor module and its features at this year’s VISION 2021 exhibition, held in Stuttgart, Germany. At this event, they demonstrated how the FSM-IMX570 sensor module can be used to calculate an object’s distance and create depth maps needed for many 3D applications, like for logistics, automation, agriculture, public services and construction. The presentation highlighted this sensor’s performance from the generation of raw data to the visualisation of a 3D image through the calculated, calibrated 3D depth information. The 3D data can be further processed and filtered, for example, to remove (multipath) reflections from a scene.

“From an economic and technical point of view, ToF technology is increasingly being integrated into new commercial and industrial applications, both indoors and outdoors, to efficiently implement depth detection even in challenging lighting situations,” says André Brela, Product Manager at FRAMOS.

SWIR Sensors – Making the Invisible Visible

SWIR sensors, such as the new Sony IMX990, provide additional information outside the visible light spectrum that is not normally captured by standard sensors. The IMX990 sensor has the industry’s smallest pixel size of any InGaAs sensor at 5 µm. This results in a very compact package design. The sensor has an active pixel matrix with SXGA resolution of 1296 x 1032 pixels. It transmits data at 130 fps at 8 bits, 120 fps at 10 bits and 70 fps at 12 bits. The small size of the IMX990 allows it to be easily and quickly implemented in almost any new camera design.

Cameras equipped with Sony’s new SWIR sensors can use this sensor to capture both the visible and SWIR spectrum simultaneously, reducing additional hardware overhead. Industries that use machine vision in inspection, or selection and sorting tasks, will particularly benefit from these sensors. Their digital interfaces, which use similar command and control capabilities as other Pregius-based sensors, enable fast design cycles when integrated into existing camera platforms.

On this point, Nathan Dinning, Director of Product Management at FRAMOS, says: “The new Sony IMX990 can be easily integrated into the camera design in place of an existing sensor to add new functionality. This doesn’t require a major redesign with multiple sensors, nor does it require any type of sensor fusion.”

FRAMOS Is a One-Stop Shop For Complete Project Support

Computer vision and machine learning customers who need machine vision support in their projects benefit from FRAMOS as a one-stop shop. The team helps them choose lenses and develop customised modules, which can be manufactured to a high-quality standard in FRAMOS’S production facilities, ensuring a secure supply chain up to large scale production.