Collaboration leads to lidar for autonomous driving

A collaboration between Analog Devices and First Sensor will develop lidar products intended to accelerate the launch of autonomous sensing technology serving unmanned automotive, aerial and underwater vehicles in transportation, smart agriculture, industrial manufacturing and other industries.

The two companies are developing products that shrink the lidar signal chain to enable higher system performance, reduce size, weight, power and cost for manufacturers designing sensing and perception technology into autonomous safety systems. The pair also plan to develop lidar products that will serve automotive and industrial manufacturing applications.

ADI’s transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs) will be integrated with First Sensor’s avalanche photodiodes (APDs) for efficient lidar products which support the mass commercial launch of lidar systems into the autonomous transportation market, explained Stewart Sellars, general manager, lidar, Analog Devices.

Recent developments at Analog Devices have included multi-channel TIAs specifically designed to convert wide dynamic range photo-current into a low-impedance voltage signal. First Sensor manufactures lidar APDs, which are highly sensitive detector arrays that convert light into photo-current. The interconnection between the APDs and TIAs influences the noise floor and bandwidth that can be achieved. Improving these two parameters enables lidar to detect objects at longer range and with higher precision.

“The market for lidar systems is maturing with customers expecting a renewed focus on implementing economically and technically compatible solutions,” observed Dr Dirk Rothweiler, CEO of First Sensor.   

First Sensor is preparing for the requirements of volume production with forward integration and an accelerated cost roadmap in line with its strategy for profitable growth.

First Sensor and Analog Devices will each offer a common evaluation board to test the combined solution.

Analog Devices’ Drive360 suite of technologies leverage the company’s core competencies in high performance MEMS, RF/mmWave, and photonics/optics technologies for highly automated and autonomous driving technology needs.

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