Monday, May 27, 2024

Direct Time-of-Flight LiDAR Suitable For Range Finding Applications

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Enabled with Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) technology, the sensor provides faster response times and high detection efficiency

The application of light detection and ranging, or LiDAR, is growing across all sectors, including robotics and industrial proximity sensing where millimetre range accuracy is essential. It is typically based upon the direct Time of Flight (dToF) method, which measures the time taken for a pulse of light (normally in the Near Infrared (NIR) wavelength range) to travel to and from an object.

While the principle is simple, its application can pose challenges, for example, environmental factors such as high levels of ambient solar light. To determine range accurately, the receiver needs to capture as much signal as possible. Traditional photodiodes suffer here, in terms of response time and sensitivity.

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Enabled with Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) technology, a single point direct Time-of-Flight (dToF) LiDAR solution has now been launched by ON Semiconductor. The Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) sensor overcomes the above shortfalls by providing faster response times and high detection efficiency. The reference platform uses the RB-Series, the second generation of SiPM sensors, which deliver improved performance in red and the NIR range.The SiPM dToF LiDAR Platform can detect objects at distances between 10 cm and 23 m.

Intuitive GUI

It offers an out-of-the-box experience using a PC-based GUI, which provides a graphical representation of the measurements over time and generate histograms to provide further evidence of the system’s capabilities in applications such as range finding, collision detection and 3D mapping.

By providing a complete solution for low cost, single point LiDAR, OEMs can adapt and take into production to create industrial range finding applications. The SiPM dToF LiDAR Platform includes the NIR laser diode, SiPM sensor and optics, as well as the digital processing necessary to convert the detected signals into elapsed time and elapsed time into distance.

“Range finding using dToF LiDAR delivers on a critical need for many applications, extending from autonomous navigation through mapping to monitoring. However, developing such a system based on dToF LiDAR can be challenging,” said Wiren Perera who heads IoT at ON Semiconductor. “This platform clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of this leading technology. The availability of a proven design enables our customers to get to a proof of concept much faster, and rapidly deliver their product to market.”

To accelerate customers’ time to market, ON Semiconductor has made all of the design data for the reference platform available, covering the schematics, BoM, gerber files and PCB design files.

The platform design is FDA Class 1 certified and compliant with IEC / EN 60825-1:2014 and 21 CFR 1040.10/ 1040.11 laser safety standards.


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