It is well known that laser time-of-flight (TOF) and optical triangulation are the most useful optical techniques for distance measurements. The first one is more suitable for large distances, since for short range of distances high modulation frequencies of laser diodes (»200-500MHz) are needed. For these ranges, optical triangulation is simpler, as it is only necessary to read the projection of the laser point over a linear optical sensor without any laser modulation. Laser triangulation is based on the rotation of the object. This motion shifts the projected point over the linear sensor, resulting on 3D information, by means of the whole readout of the linear sensor in each angle position.
On the other hand, a hybrid method of triangulation and TOF can be implemented. In this case, a synchronized scanning of a laser beam over the object results in different arrival times of light to each pixel. The 3D information is carried by these delays. Only a single readout of the linear sensor is needed.
In this work we present the design of two different linear arrays of photodiodes in CMOS technology, the first one based on the Optical triangulation measurement and the second one based in this hybrid method (TFO). In contrast to PSD (Position Sensitive Device) and CCDs, CMOS technology can include, on the same chip, photodiodes, control and processing electronics, that in the other cases should be implemented with external microcontrollers.