January 6, 2021

SensePhotonics400x275Sense Photonics announced today it has successfully demonstrated 200-meter detection with its proprietary global shutter flash Lidar system. The Sense system leverages the company’s proprietary emitter and SPAD sensor technologies.

Sense Silicon, a backside illuminated CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor)  SPAD (single-photo avalanche diode) device with more than 140,000 pixels, is designed to work seamlessly with the Sense Illuminator, a distributed 940nm laser array of more than 15,000 VCSELs, Sense Photonics said. This combination creates a high-resolution, eye-safe, global shutter flash Lidar that can detect 10% reflective targets at a range of 200 meters in full sunlight, outputting tens of millions of points per second. The company said this will remove the need for complex motion blur correction while allowing pixel-level, frame-by-frame fusion with RGB camera data.

“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 of 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.”

Sense said it uses mature manufacturing and cost-effective assembly processes to gear the system to mass-market automotive adoption. The company said its flash architecture eliminates the need for fine alignment between emitter and receiver, maintaining sensor calibration and depth accuracy during shock and vibration. The architecture also allows for customer-specific product variations through a simple change in optics, making the system work for short- and long-range capabilities.

“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,” said Shauna McIntyre, CEO of Sense Photonics. “Sense pushed the boundaries of performance by designing application-specific VCSELSs and SPADs that take advantage of the economics of wafer-scale fabrication.”

Sense said customer evaluation systems are being finalized and will be available in mid-2021, with production planned for late 2024.