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Coherent introduces VCSEL-based illumination platform


Module is designed for short- and mid-range automotive and industrial LiDAR

Coherent has introduced an illumination module platform for short- and mid-range light detection and ranging (LiDAR) in automotive safety and robotic vision in industrial applications.

Using eight 940 nm VCSEL modules, the company has demonstrated a solution with several selectively addressable horizontal slices of the field of illumination (FOI). In addition to offering a compact form factor and high power conversion efficiency, the module is said to be a much lower-cost alternative than using large addressable VCSEL arrays.

Coherent has a demonstrator available for its customers to explore multiple VCSEL module positioning configurations and scanning algorithms for various depth sensing modalities and types of scenery.

“A powerful aspect of the module platform is the ability to customise an optimized solution for use cases requiring up to 30 meters of depth sensing in bright daylight. Our illuminators exceed 30 percent total power conversion efficiency and have a compact footprint, only about a third of the size of a credit card,” said David Ahmari, VP and general manager, Optoelectronic Devices & Modules Business. “To achieve this breakthrough in efficiency and size, we are leveraging our state-of-the-art five-junction VCSEL technology that enables each illuminator module to achieve up to 200 W of output power.”

Customers of Coherent will be able to adjust the duration of the driving pulses to achieve both short- and mid-range LiDAR sensing. The FOI slices are dynamically selectable depending on the number of VCSEL modules and the order in which they are scanned. A voltage supply of only 21 V is required, which is much lower, and therefore more efficient, than existing LiDAR technology.

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