The VL53L0X is a new generation Time-of-Flight (ToF) laser-ranging module housed in the smallest package on the market today, providing accurate distance measurement whatever the target reflectances, unlike conventional technologies. It can measure absolute distances up to 2m, setting a new benchmark in ranging performance levels, opening the door to various new applications.
The VL53L0X integrates a leading-edge SPAD array (Single Photon Avalanche Diodes) and embeds ST’s second generation FlightSenseTM patented technology. The VL53L0X’s 940 nm VCSEL emitter (Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser), is totally invisible
to the human eye, coupled with internal physical infrared filters, it enables longer ranging distances, higher immunity to ambient light, and better robustness to cover glass optical crosstalk.
The VL53L0X sensor got very popular after it was first used in iPhone 7 for 3D imaging and Apple is still using this sensor in its latest mobile phones. It can detect an object within its range even the object’s surface is highly reflective hence measuring distance accurately. It has an integrated Single Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPAD) array. This array is fast and is able to distinguish between different photons with a less lag/jitter i.e within a few tens of picoseconds. The time-of-flight technology used in this sensor is the ST’s second-gen FlightSense technology. The laser used here is a 940 nm Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) which is invisible and safe for the human eyes. The integrated IR filters enhance the long-range and increase immunity to the ambience and give good prevention from glass optical crosstalk.
This module has 4 pins VCC, GND, SCL and SDA. The board has a 2.8V linear regulator and integrated level shifter so, it can bear a voltage in the range of 2.6V to 5.5V. It uses I2C protocol to communicate that’s why Serial Clock Line (SCL) and Serial Data Address (SDA) pins are there to communicate with the microcontroller.
This sensor is easy to use and can be easily incorporated. The module can be powered by a source of 2.6V to 5.5V which is then regulated to 2.8V using the on-board regulator. For communication, you can use I2C communication pins provided. The sensor can easily be implemented by most of the microcontrollers. More details can be found at the VL53L0X datasheet linked below.