ToF sensor wins 'Best of Sensors Innovation' at Sensors Expo 2019

4th July 2019
Lanna Cooper


ams has announced it was awarded two highly coveted awards at Sensors Expo: the Best of Sensors Expo Innovation Award for its TMF8701 true direct Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor system and the Design and Engineering Team of the Year. The awards highlight advances in sensor innovations and excellence among engineers.

“Our teams work hard every day, driving innovation and building differentiated solutions for our increasingly connected world,” said Alexander Everke, CEO at ams. “Earning these important awards from the Sensors Expo judges is both a great honour and a strong testament that the work we are doing truly has a positive impact on the day-to-day lives of people around the globe.”

“For more than three decades Sensors Expo has been bringing together the most exciting technological advancements and cutting-edge applications from across the industry,” noted Cal Groton, Event Director, Sensors Expo and Conference. 

“The winners of this year’s Best of Sensors Awards underscore just how far-reaching the impacts of these innovations have become. ams personifies the commitment to engineering excellence and overall ingenuity we look for and we are thrilled to recognise their efforts in an extremely competitive field.”

Design and engineering team of the year
ams’ global design engineering team - spanning 18 design centres across Europe, Asia and the US - was nominated and took top honours at the event dedicated to sensors, connectivity and the Internet of Things. 

Specific highlights of the team’s work cited in the award included the following:

  • 'Behind OLED' TCS3701 , a high sensitivity Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) that helps maximise the smartphone display area by relocating sensor from front-facing bezels to behind the OLED display; 
  • 'Enabling Small Form-Factor Earbuds', with the POW:COM AS3442/47 interface technology that uses only two pins per device for simultaneous battery changing and communication, reducing the mechanical design constraints of true wireless earbuds;
  • 'Small 1D Time-of-Flight Sensor for Proximity Sensing', the ams TMF8701, for accurate proximity sensing and distance measurement in smartphones.

The design team leaders named in the award included Mario Manninger, Senior Director of Engineering; Stefan Dineci, Director of Research and Development; Bernd Janger, Director of Engineering; and Dr. Markus Noren, Director of Engineering.

Best of Sensors Expo Innovation Award
The Innovation Award was presented to ams for its true direct Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor. The award recognises specific advances in sensor and sensor-related technologies, either in the form of novel technologies or significant improvements to existing technologies.

The TMF8701 ToF sensor, unveiled by ams in January, is offered as a single modular package with highly accurate depth accuracy detection through a sub-nanosecond light pulse and an antialiasing 'stop-watch' method to measure round-trip time of pulse. It provides single zone detection of an object irrespective of the colour, reflectivity and texture of the object. The single module with VCSEL emitter offers high dynamic range and operates in either a proximity mode (0-10cm) or a ranging mode (10-60cm) for detection sensing.

The TMF8701 uses highly sensitive SPAD detection with fast compact time-to digital converters to make highly accurate distance measurements to enable operation in dark environments.

A built-in histogram is featured to detect cover glass and objects behind glass to select the object with highest SNR while compensating for dirt and smudges on cover glass to produce artifact free measurement of multiple objects.

Grahame Cooney, Vice President and General Manager of the Business Line Integrated Optical Sensors at ams accepted the awards on behalf of ams.

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