Sense Photonics showcases world’s first 940nm global shutter flash LiDAR

With 200-meter range for mass-market automotive applications, System leverages the company's proprietary emitter and SPAD sensor technologies. Sense Silicon, a backside illuminated CMOS SPAD

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SenseSense Photonics has announced achieving an industry-first by demonstrating 200-meter detection with its proprietary global shutter flash LiDAR system.

The system leverages the company’s proprietary emitter and SPAD sensor technologies. A backside illuminated CMOS SPAD device with more than 140,000 pixels, Sense Silicon is designed to work seamlessly with the Sense Illuminator, a distributed 940nm laser array of more than 15,000 VCSELs.

They together are the core building blocks of Sense’s camera-like architecture enabling the first high-resolution, eye-safe, global shutter flash LiDAR that can detect 10% reflective targets at 200 meters range in full sunlight outputting tens of millions of points per second.

According to Hod Finkelstein, CTO, Sense Photonics, “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.”

He added: “Our LiDAR systems will solve the shortcomings that OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, and Robotaxi companies have been dealing with in competing LiDAR technologies.”

Global shutter acquisition sets a new standard in the long-range LiDAR industry by removing the need for complex motion blur correction while allowing pixel-level, frame-by-frame fusion with RGB camera data.

Specifically geared for mass-market automotive adoption, Sense uses mature manufacturing and cost-effective assembly processes used in today’s consumer technology industries.

And 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.

In addition, the architecture is designed as a platform to allow for customer-specific product variations with a simple change in optics and the first to be able to provide both short- and long-range capabilities from the same architecture.

Shauna McIntyre, CEO, Sense Photonics, said, “In order 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.”

“Sense pushed the boundaries of performance by designing application-specific VCSELs and SPADs that take advantage of the economics of wafer-scale fabrication,” Shauna added.

Innovative architecture

Sense Photonics’ innovative flash architecture is already capturing the interest of automakers, AV companies, and Tier 1 suppliers.

Customer evaluation systems are being finalised and will be available by the middle of 2021 to cater to current demand requirements, with commencement of production being planned for late 2024.

(With inputs from Automotive Lead Research Team)

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