Analog Devices, First Sensor collaborate on new LiDAR
Analog Devices and First Sensor announced they are developing products designed to speed the launch of autonomous sensing technology serving unmanned automotive, aerial, and underwater vehicles in transportation, smart agriculture, industrial manufacturing, and other industries. As part of the collaboration, the two companies are developing offerings meant to shrink the LiDAR signal chain to achieve higher system performance as well as reduce size, weight, power, and cost for manufacturers designing sensing and perception technology into their autonomous safety systems. The companies also plan to develop other LiDAR products for automotive and industrial manufacturing applications.
“The first step in our working together is to optimize ADI’s industry leading transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs) with First Sensor’s avalanche photodiodes (APDs) so we can offer our customers more powerful and efficient LiDAR solutions, and better support the mass commercial launch of LiDAR systems into the autonomous transportation market,” said Stewart Sellars, General Manager, LiDAR, Analog Devices.
Both companies have more than 25 years of experience in developing sensor technology for transportation safety. Analog Devices’ recent developments in this area include multi-channel TIAs designed to convert wide dynamic range photocurrent into a low-impedance voltage signal. First Sensor is manufacturing LiDAR APDs, which are highly sensitive detector arrays that convert light into photocurrent. Analog Devices says that optimizing the interconnection between the APDs and TIAs is critical, as it significantly influences the noise floor and bandwidth achieved, adding that improvements in these two parameters directly translate to LiDAR systems that can 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,” said Dr. Dirk Rothweiler, CEO of First Sensor. “Adapting APDs and TIAs to each other is a logical next step in this evolution. By expanding our cooperation with Analog Devices, our customers will benefit from better LiDAR receiver performance.”
First Sensor is preparing for the requirements of volume production of LiDAR 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 with which system manufacturers can test the combined solution.