Microsoft and Analog Devices pair on 3D imaging tech

Microsoft and Analog Devices worked together on a CMOS imager that provides 3D Time of Flight measurements for greater detail over longer distances. Products are expected by year end. (ADI)


Microsoft and Analog Devices Inc. collaborated on mass production of 3D imaging tech that can be used for applications in auto and industrial as well as gaming and videography.

The companies announced this week they are leveraging Microsoft’s 3D time-of-flight sensor technology used in HoloLens and the Azure Kinect Dev Kit with custom built tech from ADI.

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ADI is designing, making and selling a new product series of 3D ToF imagers, laser drivers, software and hardware-based depth systems that are wrapped around metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) imagers.  The result will be imaging with greater 3D details that can operate over longer distances with more robust performance even amid interference.  

Microsoft said in a statement that the new tech will enable development of commercial 3D sensors and cameras that will be compatible with Microsoft’s ecosystem of Intelligent Cloud, depth and Intelligent Edge.

ToF 3D sensor tech projects precise laser light in nanoseconds, which are reflected onto a high-res image sensor to give a depth estimate for every pixel in an array.  ADI said the products are already being sampled by customers and the first 3D imaging products are expected by the end of the year.

In a technical description online ADI said the image sensor measures the time delay between when the light is emitted and when the reflected light is received. In one example, the 3D ToF systems inside next-gen autos will be able to monitor the driver and passengers, taking control of the car when a driver becomes incapacitated.

RELATED: Analog Devices acquires equipment monitoring company

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