system on a chip

3D Machine Vision and Time of Flight

One of the image sensors intended for 3D vision called Time of Flight (ToF) has already been increasingly available in recent years.

Its job is to illuminate the scene using a modulated light source and observe the reflected light. The phase shift between reflection and illumination can be measured and translated into the distance.


3D Imaging ASIC

3D imaging application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is designed for 3D vision applications, as well as other consumer devices, such as laptops, personal computers, smartphones, and tablets.

This means that a chip is created for a specific purpose or application. Through the years, various types of Time of Flight ASICs have been made to meet the demands of a wide array of industries, from photography to telecommunications.


Technology Inspired By the Human Eye

The 3D imaging ASIC technology is said to have been inspired by how the human eyes see the world from different angles. However, the eyes perceive these images into a single image through the brain which combines these images into a whole.

This process is called parallax, which is close to 2D imaging concepts. But in 3D imaging, 2 lenses are used in each shot with each one capturing an image different from the other. So the 3D images will contain double the amount of information provided by 2D images.


Used In Different Applications

A 3D imaging device with a 3D imaging ASIC can be used for an array of applications. Such will include the measurement, analysis, and positioning of the parts for various industrial purposes.

Every 3D imaging ASIC has been designed to fit a specific environment or industry in which the 3D imaging systems will use either passive or active methods.

That said, active systems use methods such as structured light or Time of Flight, while passive systems use light field and depth from focus methods.


3D Shape Data Via Active Snapshot And Laser Triangulation

Snapshot and laser triangulation are used to make 3D shape data. The active snapshot process measures the distance to objects by calculating the difference between 2 snapshots taken at once called passive stereo imaging. A single-camera can be used to capture these images, but a couple of cameras can make the process even more efficient.

However, laser triangulation uses a single camera to make height variations from laser patterns projected onto the surface of an object. It will then observe how patterns moved when viewed from an angle with the use of a camera.


Challenges in 3D Imaging

The creation of 3D images is known as an intensive and time-consuming process. So it is necessary to use devices such as 3D imaging ASICs in the product lines.

This is intended because the 3D imaging ASIC is able to handle the complexity of calculations needed in the product lines since it will make the imaging process faster and more efficient.

Either 2D or 3D imaging ASIC is proven beneficial to a huge array of industrial applications. So it is all about how technology has been used for a specific purpose.


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