Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Small-Sized LiDAR ICs That Enable Faster Self-Driving Cars

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High-resolution images enable faster autonomous driving systems while the devices follow stringent safety requirements

With automotive self-driving systems evolving from 65kmph to 104kmph and beyond, LiDAR sensors are becoming increasingly significant in providing accurate distance measurement of objects. These sensors have more than twice the bandwidth and the ability to accommodate 33 per cent more channels within the same module size.

Now, automotive makers involved in designing self-driving systems can enable high-speed autonomous driving with the help of fast and small Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) ICs: the MAX40026 high-speed comparator and the MAX40660/MAX40661 high-bandwidth trans-impedance amplifiers that allow 15km/h faster autonomous driving at highway speeds by providing more than 2x higher bandwidth and accommodating 32 additional channels (128 vs. 96) to a LiDAR module within the same module size.

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Facilitating rapid driving systems

The MAX40660/MAX40661 trans-impedance amplifiers (TIAs) assist optical receiver designers with high-resolution images that enable faster autonomous driving systems.

The system size of the MAX40026 high-speed comparator plus the MAX40660/1 TIA is 5mm2, which is small enough to allow developers to fit far more channels into space-constrained vehicle platforms.

These ICs have the stringent safety requirements of the automotive industry with AEC-Q100 qualification, enhanced electrostatic discharge (ESD) performance and failure modes, effects and diagnostic analysis (FMEDA) to support ISO 26262 certification at the system level.

Key Advantages

  • Small Solution Size: The MAX40026 TDFN package size of 4mm2 and the MAX40660/1 TDFN package size of 9mm2 provide the industry’s smallest overall solution size.
  • Industry’s Highest Precision: The TIAs support 128 channels with the industry’s highest bandwidth of 490MHz for MAX40660 and 2.1pA/√Hz input-referred noise density to support higher accuracy distance measurement in LiDAR applications. Additionally, low propagation delay dispersion of the MAX40026 (10 picoseconds) contributes to accurate detection of both fixed and moving objects.
  • Low Power: MAX40660/1 reduces current consumption by more than 80 per cent in low power mode.

“Automotive engineers need elements that support greater precision, lower power and smaller solution size in order to add next-generation LiDAR capabilities to cars rolling off the assembly line,” said Veronique Rozan, executive director of business management, Core Automotive and Special Projects at Maxim Integrated. “Advancements in LiDAR-based solutions will support greater driver awareness and safety from next-generation automotive navigation systems.”

The MAX40026, the MAX40660 and the MAX40661 are available frat Maxim Integrated’s website and also available from authorised distributors. The MAX40026EVKIT#, MAX40660EVKIT# and MAX40661EVKIT# evaluation kits are also available.


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