2D and 3D embedded optical solutions have become system critical. A perfect fit for NIR illuminated systems, the Mira family enables engineers to design new power-efficient solutions, even in space-constrained designs.
The internet of things, industry 5.0, and mass customization: these megatrends are driving the exponential growth of both two- and three-dimensional embedded optical solutions. Applications like advanced hand-held QR code readers, sophisticated access control, movement control of autonomous robots and cobots are becoming the norm. To deliver these applications, power-efficient optical modules with a small footprint are increasingly system critical.
The long-lasting power behind good images
Power efficiency is a crucial point. Solutions can be put in small footprints as high power efficiency enables easier design of heat dissipation. Here, the clever IC architecture of the Global Shutter Image Sensor Mira platform is optimized to be part of such optical modules.
Two ways Mira achieves power efficiency
There are two strategies to get there. The first system design strategy to lower system power consumption is to use as little illumination power as possible. As Mira is a global shutter platform, pulsed illumination can save significant illumination power. Besides, a high quantum efficiency matters. NIR’s higher quantum efficiency improves overall system power consumption.
Mira achieves between 36%-40% at 940nm, a wavelength which is invisible to humans. Other commonly used wavelengths, like 850nm, can negatively affect eyesight in the case of high-intensity light – Mira does not.
Mira achieves up to 40% more quantum efficiency (QE) at 940nm
The second design strategy to lower system power consumption is by optimally using Mira’s readout architecture. The power consumption of the Mira readout architecture strongly scales with video parameters, such as frame per second (fps), region of interest, and bit depth. For example, using half the frame rate will give a drastic reduction in power consumption.
The best of both worlds
The smaller the footprint module the better it is for system designers. To achieve the smallest footprint without compromising sensitivity, Mira optimally uses the die space with a minimum peripheral around the optical area. With this, two system-design constraints can be optimally balanced.
First, the market is demanding a smaller pixel pitch, to achieve a smaller footprint. However, second, smaller pixel pitch leads to pixels with a lower sensitivity, but giving a higher illumination power. So, Mira aims for the best of both worlds by maximizing the resolution per die area while not sacrificing sensitivity.
A sense of things to come
Thanks to its compatibility with NIR, Mira enables new use cases in robotics and authentication
Mobile robots or cobots often need to pick up an object. For this, a 2D image or even a 3D map of the surroundings and the object to be collected is required. This is where Mira plays to its strength. Using optical techniques in NIR are extremely helpful as this wavelength is invisible for the people working nearby, but not for the image sensor. The more sensitive the sensor to that wavelength, the better the robot/cobot can either look further even in low light or low-contrast situations, use less power, or optimally combine the two. This advantage also applies to applications like machine vision, barcode scanner, motion monitoring, or key- and touchless authentication. Using NIR allows all that while meeting the eye-safety limits. With its small form factor and high quantum efficiency at 940nm Mira is the perfect fit for NIR illuminated systems in a space-constrained environment.