Use imec’s photonics platforms to develop your custom-made building blocks, such as optical phased arrays (OPA), for next generation on-chip lidar.
Solid-state lidar has been an exciting research topic for quite a while. And now it’s finding its way into commercial products.
Especially automotive applications, such as ADAS technologies, are craving compact, robust and inexpensive systems for 3D mapping of a car’s surroundings. Other applications for on-chip lidar are drone-enabled land surveying, robotics, wind monitoring, surveillance, and virtual reality.
There are many reasons why today’s mechanical and hybrid (solid-state combined with mechanical) lidar technologies don’t meet the demands of tomorrow’s applications:
Moreover, the angular resolution of mechanical lidar does not meet the requirements needed for activities such as long-range scanning. For example: to resolve a cm-scale object from 200-300 m, you need an angular resolution in the order of 0.01°.
By integrating all lidar components on one integrated circuit, solid-state lidars overcome all these drawbacks. They’re compact, contain no moving parts, and can be mass-produced (wafer level) at a relatively low cost per device.
Whether you’re building a time of flight (ToF) or frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) LiDAR system, imec’s generic platform offers you the mature building blocks you need. Both standalone SiN and SiN-on-SOI technologies combine:
Moreover, imec’s solid-state lidar technology uses an on-chip detector array to ease the calibration without looking at the far field. This capability for on-chip calibration will reduce the complexity and maintenance cost of your lidar system even more.
Want to work with us on your next-generation lidar application? Get in touch for access to imec's building blocks and expertise, including electronics, algorithms, IC/circuit and system design.