PMD technology
The efector pmd laser sensor from ifm electronic is designed for distance measurement to within a millimetre at high ranges. It operates to the time-of-flight principle: The transmitted light takes a certain time to travel to the object and back to the sensor. This period of time is directly proportional to the distance travelled.
Traditional time-of-flight sensors use a photodiode as receiver element. Additional external electronics is used for signal acquisition and processing. This sensor design is expensive, large in size and therefore often not suitable for industrial position sensing.
In comparison, the PMD sensor's receiver element is a "System-on-Chip" design. Both sensor element and electronics for signal evaluation are integrated on a single silicon chip called a Photonic Mixer Device (PMD).
Advantage: This innovative design by ifm offers maximum performance in a compact, industrially compatible housing – at a fraction of the price of traditional systems.

Schematic illustration of the PMD "Smart Pixel".

Heart of the innovative "Smart Pixel" receiver element – PMD.