Infineon Introduces World’s First ISO26262 Compliant High-Resolution 3D Image Sensor

Innovative car cockpits, seamless connectivity with new services and improved passive safety: 3D depth sensors play a key role in vehicle cabin monitoring systems. They are essential to meet regulations as well as NCAP ratings and to realize the vision of the driver becoming a passenger. Infineon Technologies AG, together with the 3D time-of-flight system specialist pmdtechnologies ag, has therefore developed the second generation of the REAL3 automotive image sensor – a high-resolution 3D image sensor in accordance with the ISO26262 standard.

“Building on our leadership in 3D sensors for consumer applications, we now offer high resolution with a small image circle to the automotive world. This allows cars to have mainstream functions while maintaining automotive standards and even improving passive safety,” said Christian Herzum, Vice President of 3D Sensing at Infineon. “For example, reliable and secure face authentication enables seamless connectivity for any type of service that requires authentication, such as payment, battery charging, or accessing private data.”

Additionally, the same camera fulfills all driver monitoring requirements to detect driver distraction and fatigue. This makes it possible to offer a driver monitoring system with secure 3D facial recognition using a single ToF camera.

“Right from the start, we focused on improving the robustness of the underlying pmd-based ToF technology against external influences such as sunlight or other disturbing light sources. For this reason, the new imager shows excellent and state-of-the-art performance even under harsh conditions,” said Bernd Buxbaum, CEO of pmdtechnologies ag.

The sensor comes in a 9 x 9 mm² plastic BGA package and offers a VGA system resolution of 640 x 480 pixels with a small image circle of 4 mm. This allows lens sizes similar to those known from smartphones, but now also for automotive applications. The high resolution of the REAL3 sensor also makes it suitable for camera applications with a wide field of view, such as full front row occupant monitoring systems. The resulting 3D body models enable accurate estimates of occupant height and weight, as well as highly accurate passenger and seat position data, which is key information for intelligent deployment and restraint systems. airbags. In addition to its small size, the single-chip solution is qualified for AEC-Q100 Grade 2 and is the first of its kind to be developed under ISO26262 (ASIL-B).

In addition to safety-critical applications, 3D data enables convenience features such as gesture control or intuitive interior lighting that tracks passenger movements. Additionally, the Imager can be used in environmental perception scenarios as a Flash-LiDAR in the automotive space and – based on safety compliance – it is also an ideal candidate for adjacent applications in mobile robotics, drones and other autonomous use cases, in general, where the reliability and safety are essential to protect operators.

Depth sensor technology from Infineon and pmd

Depth sensor time-of-flight technology is powering a wide range of use cases. It provides highly reliable distance information and at the same time a grayscale 2D image of the entire scene in all ambient lighting conditions – at night, in the sun and in highly changing lighting conditions.

More information is available at

Michael C. Garrison