New sensor created by Sony subsidiary Softkinetic offers industry’s smallest pixel pitch

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posted Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 9:29 AM EST

Sony Corporation announced today that it has developed a new ToF ("Time of Flight")  image sensor with a 10µm pixel pitch, which it calls the industry's smallest. Sony acquired Softkinetic Systems S.A. in 2015, and used its ToF sensor technology in conjuction with Sony's back-illuminated CMOS image sensor technology to achieve the feat.

 
 

According to Sony:

With ToF technology, the distance to an object is measured by the time it takes for light from a light source to reach the object and reflect back to the sensor. ToF image sensors detect distance information for every pixel, resulting in highly accurate depth maps. Accuracy can be enhanced even further by ensuring that the reflected light is efficiently received and that the processing required to measure distance is executed at a high frame rate. Additionally, power consumption can be reduced by efficiently collecting and processing the reflected light; the more efficient, the less light source power is needed. 

Fields of use needing an increase in the accuracy of depth sensing include augmented reality, robotics and drones. The technology will assist in gesture and object recognition, as well as obstacle detection.

 
 

For more detailed information on Sony's new sensor technology, you can read Sony's press release here.