New product: VL53L8CX Time-of-Flight 8×8-Zone Distance Sensor Carrier

Posted by Ben on 15 February 2024
Tags: new products

I’m excited to announce the release of our new VL53L8CX Time-of-Flight 8×8-Zone Distance Sensor Carrier, a multi-zone rangefinder based on ST’s latest VL53L8CX FightSense distance sensor. It uses time-of-flight (TOF) readings of infrared laser light to precisely measure distances of multiple targets across a grid of multiple zones, allowing you to generate a depth map with up to 8×8 resolution and 4 m range. Relative to older similar sensors, such as the VL53L5CX, the VL53L8CX also offers improved performance in ambient light and adds an SPI interface that can significantly speed up initialization and data acquisition. Since it has the same FOV and multi-zone capability, you can think of the VL53L8CX as basically an upgraded version of the VL53L5CX.

Visualization of VL53L8CX and VL53L5CX sensing a person standing against a wall about 2.7 m away. The VL53L8CX gives more accurate measurements with higher confidence (indicated with green).

Compared to sensors that only give a 1D measurement, the VL53L8CX does demand more from a microcontroller to support its operation as a 3D lidar. Initializing the sensor through I²C or SPI and processing its data requires a lot of RAM and program memory, so it is not practical to use the VL53L8CX with most 8-bit MCUs like the Arduino Uno. We found that the Raspberry Pi Pico’s RP2040 microcontroller worked well for interfacing with the VL53L8CX, and other similarly powerful 32-bit controllers like an ESP32 should also work.

With the release of this module, we now have seven pin-compatible carriers for ST’s various FlightSense time-of-flight sensors:







Maximum range:(1) 60 cm 200 cm 400 cm 500 cm 400 cm 350 cm 400 cm
Minimum range: ~1 cm ~3 cm 4 cm 1 cm 2 cm 2 cm 2 cm
Field of view: 25° 25° 15° to 27° diagonal,
25° 65° diagonal,
up to 8×8 zones
90° diagonal,
up to 8×8 zones
65° diagonal,
up to 8×8 zones
Other features: ambient light sensing,
low memory footprint(2)
low memory footprint(2) low memory footprint(2) multi-target detection multi-target detection multi-target detection multi-target detection,
improved performance
in ambient light
Maximum update rate:(1) ~150 Hz 50 Hz 100 Hz 125 Hz 60 Hz 60 Hz 60 Hz
Operating voltage range: 2.6 V to 5.5 V 2.5 V to 5.5 V 3.2 V to 5.5 V
Regulator voltage: 2.8 V 3.3 V 1.8 V and 3.3 V
Typical active-ranging
supply current:
25 mA 20 mA 20 mA 20 mA 100 mA 100 mA 100 mA
Peak supply current: 40 mA 40 mA 40 mA 40 mA 150 mA 150 mA 150 mA
Interface: I²C I²C, SPI
Dimensions: 0.5″ × 0.7″ 0.5″ × 0.9″
1-piece price: $13.49 $14.95 $18.95 $16.95 $19.95 $19.95 $24.95
1 Effective range and update rate depend on configuration, target, and environment.
2 Suitable for use with typical 8-bit MCUs.


VL53L8CX - can you help with a micropython firmware?

We do not currently have any MicroPython example programs for the VL53L8CX, but if you are interested in working on that, ST's API (application programming interface) should be a useful reference. You can find a link to that as well as other documentation on the product page under the "Resources" tab.

- Patrick

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VL53L8CX Time-of-Flight 8×8-Zone Distance Sensor Carrier with Voltage Regulators, 400cm Max
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