pmd is the leading fabless IC supplier for Time-of-Flight 3D image sensors. Founded in Germany in 2002, pmd concentrates on continual improvement on the raw depth technology as well as supporting partners in the consumer market. In 2012, pmd became a 100% daughter company of ifm electronic.
Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology - starting with the speed of light
As visualized in the video above, electrically modulated light pulses travel at the speed of light from a transmitter, reflects off an object and returns at the speed of light. By correlating the reflected light with a phased reference signal, the distance to the object can be measured.
For every pixel in an ifm ToF sensor or camera, a point cloud is formed in a 3D image.
The result: Using a phase-based approach for ToF allows the technology to easily scale in size, range and cost. The consumer market has taken advantage of the price and size scalability through its use of pmd technology in mobile phones. The industrial market utilizes size scalability to provide solutions for mobile robots of all sizes. Finally, vehicles in the municipal, construction and agriculture utilize the range scalability to offer obstacle detection solutions at speed. In summary, pmd technology offers the most scalable ToF imager in the market today.
Depth imaging has accelerated in adoption for both the consumer and mobile vehicle markets. pmd technology, due to it’s scalable size and price, has been an integral part of both markets. The following videos are just a glimpse into some of the pmd successes in these markets.
pmd partners with companies to implement pmd ToF imagers into consumer technologies.
ifm utilizes pmd ToF to provide obstacle detection and automation solutions for mobile vehicles.
ifm 3D cameras are used for obstacle detection on mobile robots in the Material Handling, Service and Manufacturing Industries.