The global 3D time-of-flight sensor market is estimated to account US$ 332.29 Mn in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period 2018 – 2027
Time of Flight (ToF) cameras are active range sensors that provide depth images at high frame-rates. They are equipped with an infrared (IR) light source that illuminates the scene, and a CMOS/CCD sensor that captures the reflected infrared light. The depth is measured based on the time of flight principle, i.e., it is proportional to the time spent by the IR signal to reach the scene and come back. Depth measurements are obtained for each pixel of the sensor and together produce a depth image. Fast acquisition of depth images is of great use in a wide range of applications, e.g., in robotics, human-machine interaction, and scene modeling. Unfortunately, available ToF cameras in the past have a low resolution and are affected by different measuring errors. These include noise caused by the sensor; the systematic wiggling error due to the difficulty of generating sinusoidal signals; a non-linear depth offsets dependent on reflectivity and integration-time; and the flying pixels generated by the superposition of signals at depth in homogeneities (edges). As a result, ToF sensor’s depth measurements are accurate and precise. The 3D time-of-flight sensor manufacturers are focusing on product enhancement utilizing advanced technologies to deliver innovative and technological advanced products. Furthermore, strategic contract alliances and acquisition in the emerging economies is anticipated to be opportunistic for the 3D time-of-flight sensor market.
Some of the prominent players in the 3D time-of-flight sensor market are Melexis, STMicroelectronics N.V., Texas Instruments Incorporated, ifm electronic gmbh and Adafruit Industries captures a considerable share of the 3D time-of-flight sensor market owing to their product offerings and contract signed with the government to boost the market. Companies have taken several market initiatives to expand their footprint across the world and to fulfill the growing demand of the 3D time-of-flight sensor market. In 2019, Infineon announced its partnership with LG, for introducing Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology to be integrated with the front-facing camera of the latest smartphone of LG. Similarly, in the same year, AMS AG announced the launch of the smallest 1D time-of-flight sensor – “TMF8701”. These sensors are used for accurate proximity sensing as well as distance measurement in smartphones. These sensors fits in a narrow bezel, which permits the smartphone manufacturers to recognize widescreen phone designs which have a high display screen to body ratio.
The players present in the 3D time-of-flight sensor market mainly concentrate towards the contracts, partnerships, collaboration, acquisition, product developments. Activities for the deployment of new technological solutions across the world is permitting these companies to maintain their brand name globally. Most of the market initiative was observed in the Europe region. Few of the important market initiatives and acquisitions from the industry are mentioned below:
|2019||Teledyne e2V along with Teledyne DALSA showcased their presence at Vision China Shanghai 2019. Teledyne e2V represented its 3D TOF BORA, the Snappy family, the Lince 11M, and the Emerald family.||APAC|
|2019||STMicroelectronics announced a new full-color ambient light sensor, integrated with Flicker Detect sensors to boosts camera performance in IoT devices and smartphones. These flicker sensors make use of time of flight technology.||Europe|
|2019||Infineon collaborated with DENSO Corporation, a supplier of advanced automotive technology, components, and systems to accelerate its automotive business. The companies aims to mutually improve systems know-how in both established and new technologies area such as electro-mobility and automated driving.||APAC|
|2018||STMicroelectronics launched time-of-flight (ToF), long-distance laser-ranging sensor. It can target with the maximum range of 400 cm (or ~157 inches).||Europe|
|2015||Sony announced the acquisition of Softkinetic Systems S.A., through this acquisition Sony enhance its focus on TOF range image sensor technology with the aim of developing the next generation of image sensors and solutions.||Europe|