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VL53L3CX Time-of-Flight Multi-Target Distance Sensor Carrier with Voltage Regulator, 300cm Max

by Pololu
SKU 3830
£8.99 inc VAT
£7.49 ex VAT
4 in stock.

This sensor is a carrier/breakout board for ST’s VL53L3CX laser-ranging sensor, which offers fast and accurate ranging up to 3m. It uses the time of flight (ToF) of invisible, eye-safe laser pulses to measure absolute distances to multiple targets simultaneously, independent of ambient lighting conditions and target characteristics like colour, shape, and texture (though these things will affect the maximum range). Distance measurements can be read through a digital I²C interface. The board includes a 2.8 V linear regulator and level-shifters that allow it to work over an input voltage range of 2.6 V to 5.5 V, and the 0.1″ pin spacing makes it easy to use with standard solderless breadboards and 0.1″ perfboards.

The VL53L3CX is effectively a tiny, self-contained lidar system featuring an integrated 940 nm Class 1 laser, which is invisible and eye-safe. Unlike conventional IR sensors that use the intensity of reflected light to estimate the distance to an object, the VL53L3CX uses ST’s FlightSense technology to precisely measure how long it takes for emitted pulses of infrared laser light to reach the objects and be reflected back to a detector. This approach ensures absolute distance measurements independent of ambient lighting conditions and target characteristics (e.g. color, shape, texture, and reflectivity), though these external conditions do affect the maximum range of the sensor.

Under favorable conditions, the sensor can report distances up to 5m with 1 mm resolution. The minimum ranging distance is 10 mm. Ranging measurements are available through the sensor’s I²C (TWI) interface, which is also used to configure sensor settings, and the sensor provides two additional pins: a shutdown input and an interrupt output.

The VL53L3CX is a great IC, but its small, leadless, LGA package makes it difficult for the typical student or hobbyist to use. It also operates at a recommended voltage of 2.8 V, which can make interfacing difficult for microcontrollers operating at 3.3 V or 5 V. The breakout board addresses these issues, making it easier to get started using the sensor, while keeping the overall size as small as possible.

The carrier board includes a low-dropout linear voltage regulator that provides the 2.8 V required by the VL53L3CX and allows the sensor to be powered from a 2.6 V to 5.5 V supply. The regulator output is available on the VDD pin and can supply almost 150 mA to external devices. The breakout board also includes a circuit that shifts the I²C clock and data lines to the same logic voltage level as the supplied VIN, making it simple to interface the board with 3.3 V or 5 V systems, and the board’s 0.1″ pin spacing makes it easy to use with standard solderless breadboards and 0.1″ perfboards.

Please Note: The distance was recently changed from 3m to 5m max, this means some units may still ship with a 3m sticker. This product is not recommended for use with 8-bit microcontrollers

Please Note: This product might ship with a protective liner covering the sensor IC. The liner must be removed for proper sensing performance.

  • Dimensions: 0.5″ × 0.7″ × 0.085″ (13 mm × 18 mm × 2 mm)
  • Weight without header pins: 0.5 g (0.02 oz)
  • Operating voltage: 2.6 V to 5.5 V
  • Supply current: ~15 mA (typical average during active ranging with default settings)
    • Peak current can reach 40 mA
  • Maximum range: 3m
  • Resolution: 1 mm
  • Minimum range: 10 mm (0.4 in)
  • Emitter: 940 nm invisible Class 1 VCSEL (vertical cavity surface-emitting laser) – eye-safe
  • Detector: SPAD (single photon avalanche diode) receiving array
    • Typical full field of view (FoV): 25°
  • Output format (I²C): histogram

Connections

At least four connections are necessary to use the VL53L3CX board: VIN, GND, SCL, and SDA. The VIN pin should be connected to a 2.6 V to 5.5 V source, and GND should be connected to 0 volts. An on-board linear voltage regulator converts VIN to a 2.8 V supply for the VL53L3CX IC. Note that if your input voltage is under 3.5 V, you can connect it directly to VDD instead to bypass the regulator; in this configuration, VIN should remain disconnected.

The I²C pins, SCL and SDA, are connected to built-in level-shifters that make them safe to use at voltages over 2.8 V; they should be connected to an I²C bus operating at the same logic level as VIN.

The XSHUT pin is an input and the GPIO1 pin is an open-drain output; both pins are pulled up to 2.8 V by the board. They are not connected to level-shifters on the board and are not 5V-tolerant, but they are usable as-is with many 3.3 V and 5 V microcontrollers: the microcontroller can read the GPIO1 output as long as its logic high threshold is below 2.8 V, and the microcontroller can alternate its own output between low and high-impedance states to drive the XSHUT pin.

PIN Description
VDD Regulated 2.8 V output. Almost 150 mA is available to power external components. (If you want to bypass the internal regulator, you can instead use this pin as an input for voltages between 2.6 V and 3.5 V with VIN disconnected.)
VIN This is the main 2.6 V to 5.5 V power supply connection. The SCL and SDA level shifters pull the I²C lines high to this level.
GND The ground (0V) connection for your power supply. Your I²C control source must also share a common ground with this board.
SDA Level-shifted I²C data line: HIGH is VIN, LOW is 0 V
SCL Level-shifted I²C clock line: HIGH is VIN, LOW is 0 V
XSHUT This pin is an active-low shutdown input; the board pulls it up to VDD to enable the sensor by default. Driving this pin low puts the sensor into hardware standby. This input is not level-shifted.
GPIO1 Programmable interrupt output (VDD logic level). This output is not level-shifted.
  • Size: 0.5″ × 0.7″ × 0.085″
  • Weight: 0.5g
  • Resolution: 1mm
  • Maximum range: 300 cm
  • Minimum range: 1 cm
  • Interface: I²C
  • Min/Max operating voltage: 2.6V/5.5V
  • Supply current: 15 mA