Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Long Range Flash LiDAR For Mass-Market Automotive Applications

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SPAD sensor technology having more than 140,000 pixels detect 10% reflective targets and removes the need for complex motion blur correction

By leveraging emitter and SPAD sensor technologies, Sense Photonics has successfully demonstrated a 200-metre detection with a global shutter flash LiDAR system.

Sense Silicon, a backside-illuminated CMOS SPAD device with more than 140,000 pixels can work seamlessly with the Sense Illuminator, a distributed 940nm laser array of more than 15,000 VCSELs. Together, they are the core building blocks of Sense’s camera-like architecture enabling high-resolution, eye-safe, global shutter flash LiDAR that can detect 10% reflective targets at 200 metres range in full sunlight outputting tens of millions of points per second. Global shutter acquisition sets a new standard in the long-range LiDAR industry, removing the need for complex motion blur correction while allowing pixel-level, frame-by-frame fusion with RGB camera data.

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“We have delivered what industry experts thought was impossible due to our 940nm wavelength, and have created a revolutionary new architecture with the Sense Illuminator, Sense Silicon, and our state-of-the-art signal processing pipeline to miniaturize the data output,” said Hod Finkelstein, CTO, Sense Photonics. “Our LiDAR systems will solve the shortcomings that OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, and Robotaxi companies have been dealing with in competing LiDAR technologies.”

Geared specifically for mass-market automotive adoption, enhanced manufacturing and cost-effective assembly processes are used for production. Unlike legacy LiDAR technologies, Sense’s flash architecture eliminates the need for fine alignment between emitter & receiver, maintaining sensor calibration and depth accuracy during shock and vibration. Additionally, the architecture is designed to allow product variations by providing both short and long-range capabilities from the same architecture.

“To scale past niche automotive R&D projects for ADAS and AV, LiDAR sensors must fit within the vehicle’s acceptable system cost, package and reliability requirements,” said Shauna McIntyre, CEO, Sense Photonics.

Customer evaluation systems for innovative flash architecture are being finalised and will be available mid-2021.


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