ToF Sensor with Delta-Sigma Feedback

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MDPI paper "High-Linearity High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Linear-Array Digital Image Sensor Using Time-Domain Feedback" by Juyeong Kim, Keita Yasutomi, Keiichiro Kagawa, and Shoji Kawahito from Shizuoka University, Japan, presents a sigma-delta feedback approach to linearize a ToF sensor response:

"This paper presents a high-linearity high-resolution time-of-flight (ToF) linear-array digital image sensor using a time-domain negative feedback technique. A coarse ToF measurement loop uses a 5-bit digital-to-time converter (DTC) and a delayed gating-pulse generator for time-domain feedback to find the zero of the difference between ToF and the digital estimate of the gating-pulse delay while maintaining a constant operating point of the analog readout circuits. A fine ToF measurement uses a delta-sigma modulation (DSM) loop using the time-domain feedback with a bit-stream signal form. Because of the self-contained property of the DSM for low distortion and noise exploited by the oversampling signal processing, the proposed technique provides high-linearity and high-range resolution in the fine ToF measurement. A prototype ToF sensor of 16.8 × 16.8 μm2 two-tap pixels and fabricated in a 0.11 μm (1P4M) CMOS image sensors (CIS) process achieves +0.9%/−0.47% maximum nonlinearity error and a resolution of 0.24 mm (median) for the measurement range of 0–1.05 m. The ToF sensor produces an 11-bit fully digital output with a ToF measurement time of 22.4 ms."

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