IR Laser Optimized For 3D Optical Sensing

The MERANO-Photodiode (PD) from ams is an infrared (IR) laser flood illuminator module that provides the uniform light output needed in mobile 3D sensing applications such as facial recognition. Introducing a Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL)-based flood illuminator in a slim package advances the introduction of 3D sensing applications in mainstream mobile phones. Power-efficient, the 2W Merano-PD is suitable for use in applications such as face recognition, augmented reality, 3D object scanning and 3D image rendering, as well as other industrial and automotive applications.


Benefiting from optimized thermal design, the module has a footprint measuring 2.4 mm x 3.3 mm x 1.2 mm. It is small enough to be integrated into a mobile phone’s design for either front- or world-facing applications.

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 In a mobile optical sensing system operating on the time-of-flight principle, the MERANO-PD emits pulsed bursts of invisible IR light. A separate IR light detector senses the sequence of reflections from objects in the field of illumination and renders them as a 3D depth map or scan. The MERANO-PD may also be used in dot-pattern recognition (structured light) systems for 3D sensing, for flood illumination in IR cameras and for industrial 3D sensors and scanners.


Other features include:

  • Uniformity of optical power distribution in the far field
  • The 940-nm IR output and the illumination pattern are precisely controlled in the pre-defined field of illumination
  • Low power consumption
  • An integrated photodiode detects impairment of the device’s diffuser. When linked to a separate monitoring circuit, this means that the mobile phone can disable the illuminator for eye-safety.


For more technical information, request a MERANO-PD datasheet.

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