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Osram Launches Intelligent 3D Sensing Emitter Module

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VCSEL device for Time-of-Flight (ToF) applications lets smartphones take high-quality images and videos with staggered depth of field

Osram's first intelligent emitter module for 3D sensing allows smartphones to take high-quality images and videos with staggered depth of field. In portrait shots the person's face remains in focus, while the background becomes blurred. Besides optimising image content, the VCSEL-based module can also be used for 3D object recognition or augmented reality apps.

The module features a black package, a 3-Watt infrared VCSEL with a wavelength of 940 nanometers (nm), a matching optical system, an integrated intelligent microcontroller for driving the VCSEL and a photodiode. Together, the individual components have a footprint of 3.6 mm x 5.46 mm.

The efficiency of Osram's own VCSEL technology ensures low power consumption, and therefore, facilitates not only energy management, but also the integration of the component into the end device. The high optical power enables the acquisition of depth information by ToF technology at a distance of up to seven meters. In addition to optimizing image content, customers can also use the depth information for other functions in the smartphone, including 3D object recognition and augmented reality applications like games and interior design.

"Our customers benefit from the ideally matched components and can install our module in their respective end devices with minimal integration effort," explains Benedikt von Lindeiner, product manager for Sensing at Osram Opto Semiconductors. "Our first intelligent emitter module for 3D sensing not only enables breathtaking optical effects for smartphones photography - it also opens the door to a wide range of 3D-based applications for future smartphone generations.”

For eye safety, special safety mechanisms are integrated in the module. If the photodiode registers a change in the incidence of light - for example, if the optics are damaged after a fall - the current supply to the VCSEL is interrupted.

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