Image Sensor

Back-illuminated Time of Flight image sensors

  • VGA 10µm (Type 1/2)

    VGA 5µm (Type 1/4.5)

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Sony has released a back-illuminated, Time of Flight(ToF) image sensor*1 for industrial machineries. Applying Sony's sensing and ranging tecnologies, the compact and high-resolution sensor acquires depth map which can cover both short and long distance.

The compact and innovative sensor acquiring accurate depth map, leads to various fields and applications such as forklift pallet detection, load recognition, fruit-picking equipments and auto-milking robots, etc.

*1:IMX556/IMX570 were launched in October 2019/March 2021.


Delivers high-resolution 3D images

ToF pixel technology and back-illuminated CMOS image sensor pixel technology from Sony bring high resolution, high accuracy and smaller sensor size to ToF systems. The sensor can be used when high-precision object recognition is required or when space is limited, such as on a robot arm.

Table 1 Resolution comparison
Depth Image*
IR Image

* : Distance is color-coded in depth images.

Suppresses blur of moving subjects

Unlike mechanical laser scanning, the ToF system does not use any moving parts. This allows fast frame-by-frame acquisition of 3D depth maps with less blur of moving objects. Even fast-moving objects, such as products on conveyor belts can be targeted for sensing.

Reduces processing load

Using ToF image sensors, distance information can be obtained by performing simple processing on sensor output. Compared to conventional camera imaging, this makes it easier to build a depth-sensing environment. Even when omnidirectional or multi-angle images are generated from several cameras in real time, sensing can be performed by a system configuration with a low processing load.

Improves robustness in all environments

Sony's ToF image sensors have the pixel drive processing to subtract external light offset, which can be used under high-illuminant environments such as under bright sunshine. This sensor can be used for both indoors and outdoors, including in extremely dark scenes such as in an unlit warehouse.


Table 2: Device Structure
Model name IMX556 IMX570
Resolution 0.3M 0.3M
Number of effective pixels 642(H) x 484(V) 648(H) x 488(V)
Image size type 1/2 type 1/4.5
Max. frame rate 60 fps (VGA resolution) 56 fps (VGA resolution)
Recommended light source wavelength 850nm or 940nm 850nm or 940nm
Pixel size 10µm × 10µm 5µm × 5µm
Modulation frequency 4~100MHz 2~120MHz
Interface MIPI MIPI

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Sony's ToF Technology

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