Chip-integrated FMCW lidar sensors deliver coherent 3D vision - Embedded.com

Chip-integrated FMCW lidar sensors deliver coherent 3D vision

New sensors are FMCW lidar transceivers featuring SiLC Technologies’ silicon photonics chip which integrates lidar functionality into a single chip.

SiLC Technologies has introduced what it said is the first commercially available chip-integrated FMCW lidar sensor to deliver coherent 3D vision. Its new Eyeonic vision sensor is a compact vision sensor providing accurate instantaneous depth, velocity, and dual-polarization intensity information while enabling immunity to multi-user and environmental interference.

These features will enable robotic vehicles and machines to have the necessary data to perceive and classify their environment and help them predict future dynamics using low-latency, low-compute power and rule-based algorithms.

SiLC_Fiberless_Eyeonic_in_Human_Hand
The Eyeonic vision chip integrates all photonics functions needed to enable a coherent vision sensor. An ultra-low linewidth laser, a semiconductor optical amplifier, germanium detectors, and meters of optical circuits are integrated onto the silicon photonics chip.

Harvesting the additional information that is carried by photons, Eyeonic is the foundation for the next generation of machine vision, the company said. Its vision sensor is a first-of-its-kind FMCW lidar transceiver. At the heart of this sensor is SiLC’s silicon photonic chip which integrates lidar functionality into a single, tiny chip. The company added that it represents decades of silicon photonics innovation, and the chip is the only readily-integratable solution for manufacturers building next generation of autonomous vehicles, security solutions and industrial robots.

“Eyeonic will be transformational to many industries across the globe by enabling the anticipated mass migration to coherent imaging,” explained Mehdi Asghari, founder and CEO, SiLC. “Our unique technology and innovative manufacturing process puts SiLC in the optimal position to provide the key building blocks needed for this next wave of significant innovation – at a competitive price.”

Driven by the technology challenges of commercializing silicon photonics, SiLC’s integration platform brings together high-performance components into a single silicon chip through mature semiconductor fabrication processes, offering a low-cost, compact, and low-power solution. The technology hopes to help in the quest to bring true vision to machines, with a scalable, lightweight, low-cost solution that can measure the full motion of any object – without any prior training.

The ability to manufacture commercial-grade coherent lidar solutions has become a pacing factor for market growth. SiLC intends to make this technology available to all system integrators and end-users, starting with enabling early access to strategic partners in autonomy, security and industrial applications. Offered in two configurations, fiber and fiberless, Eyeonic addresses the current roadblocks facing industries that rely upon vision sensors to embrace burgeoning market opportunities. Fiberless vision sensors have long been sought after as they enable the lowest cost in a compact configuration. The fiber pigtailed Eyeonic allows for design flexibility by supporting configurations where the FMCW lidar transceiver and scanning unit are at different locations.

To facilitate customer development efforts, SiLC offers reference designs and a range of key components needed to develop a full solution. Examples of fully configured systems, based on the Eyeonic platform, will be made available as prototypes to enable rapid evaluation by customers and end users.


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