[Dprglist] VL53L sensors

Paul Bouchier paul.bouchier at gmail.com
Wed Dec 15 02:13:04 PST 2021

We had a discussion about the VL53 family of IR proximity sensors at RBNV
last night, and we were unsure of the differences between e.g. VL53L1X,
VL53L1 (no X) etc. This st page has a family decoder chart:

In a nutshell, it looks like:
VL53L0CX is 200cm single zone
VL53L1CX is a 400cm single-zone programmable FoV
VL53L1CB is 800cm multi-zone/multi-target programmable FoV (looks like best
of all - what's the downside?) 27 degree max FoV
VL53L3CX is 500cm multi-zone/multi-target with close distance detection
VL53L5CX is 400cm multi-zone/multi-target Wide FoV: 64 degrees

Sparkfun sells the VL53L3CX, VL53L1X and VL53L5CX, and some have arduino
libraries, some don't. They refer to the VL53L1X as "venerable", aka old,
single-zone. I only find the VL53L0X and VL53L1X (single-zone) sensors on

It seems to me the VL53L1CB is also known as VL53L1 (no X). Someone at ST
ought to be shot for defining VL53L1 and VL53L1X part numbers that have
such different characteristics but only differ in part number by inclusion
or not of X.

It looked like David had the VL53L1 version, so presumably VL53L1CB. Not
sure about Pat.

[image: image.png]

This diagram is also helpful - it shows that single-zone vs. multi-zone are
really for different applications.
[image: image.png]
Single-zone ranging is good for e.g. liquid levels, but programmable FoV
gives flexibility by narrowing the FoV used to report a single zone range,
Multi-zone & multi-target give more XYZ detail. Multi-zone refers to
multiple regions of interest in the XY plane. Multi-target seems to refer
to objects at different depths within a single region of interest - if
they're separated in Z by more than 80cm it will report up to 3 of them -
it histograms the arrival times and bucket-izes range readings.

These are pretty sophisticated sensors! The driver even loads the device
firmware into the chip! Hats off to Pat for getting it to do ranging. As
illustrated by the discussion last night, there's a lot to learn about
these things.

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