Thursday, January 07, 2021

LiDAR News: Livox, Aeva, Sense, Fraunhofer, Xilinx

BusinessWire: Xpeng, a Chinese electric vehicle company, is to deploy Livox automotive-grade lidar technology in Xpeng’s new production model in 2021. Livox is Xpeng’s first partner in lidar technology.

Livox is enhancing the detection range of its Horiz sensor to 150m (for objects at 10% reflectivity), enabling Xpeng’s XPILOT system to easily detect any remote obstacle while on highways and urban roads. Livox’s customized solution for Xpeng also includes a new “ultra FPS” lidar technology concept. Through a cleverly designed rotating-mirror technology, the objects within the lidar’s ROI will acquire a 20Hz point cloud data when the whole system is working at a frame rate of 10Hz. The new ROI point cloud density is hence increased to 144 lines equivalent at 0.1 second without the need for extra laser transmitters. The increased point cloud density enables the faster detection of tiny objects on the road surface, including pedestrians, bicycles or even traffic cones. The horizontal FOV of Horiz has also reached 120°. This greatly enhances the smart driving experience by resolving many persistent challenges faced by drivers, including the removal of blind spots against cut-in vehicles.

PRNewswire: Aeva and InterPrivate SPAC announce that Sylebra Capital (Hong Kong) invests $200M on top of the investment in the merger deal between Aeva and InterPrivate. The combined proceeds from this financing, the previously announced private placement, and InterPrivate's cash in trust are now expected to exceed $560M.

PRNewswire: Sense Photonics announces that it has achieved an industry-first by successfully demonstrating 200-meter detection with its proprietary global shutter flash LiDAR system.

The Sense system uses proprietary emitter and SPAD sensor technologies. Sense Silicon, a BSI SPAD 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. Together, they are the core building blocks of Sense's camera-like architecture enabling the first high-resolution, eye-safe, global shutter flash LiDAR that can detect 10% reflective targets at 200 meters range in full sunlight outputting tens of millions of points per second. Global shutter acquisition sets a new standard in the long-range LiDAR industry by removing the need for complex motion blur correction while allowing pixel-level, frame-by-frame fusion with RGB camera data.

Sense Photonics says that "Our core technology of VCSELs and SPADs can be paired with different lenses and diffusers to create short-range and long-range products of various FOV and resolutions. We can go as wide as 180 x 90 FOV with uniform angular resolution that exceeds 0.4 degrees for short-range needs or we can go as narrow as 15 x 7.5 to achieve uniform angular resolution of 0.025 degrees for mid or long-range needs. The inherent architecture flexibility enables us to deliver on a broad range of automotive applications. More to come in a forthcoming announcement."

"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, 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."

Geared for mass-market automotive adoption, Sense uses mature manufacturing and cost-effective assembly processes used in today's consumer technology industries. Sense's flash architecture eliminates the need for fine alignment between emitter & receiver, maintaining sensor calibration and depth accuracy during shock and vibration. Additionally, the architecture is designed as a platform to allow for customer-specific product variations with a simple change in optics and the first to be able to provide both short- and long-range capabilities from the same architecture.

Customer evaluation systems are being finalized and will be available mid 2021 to meet current demand requirements, with start of production being planned for late 2024.

Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems in Dresden (IPMS) designs and manufactures MEMS mirrors for Aeye LiDAR:

"The MEMS scanner is made of monocrystalline silicon, a material with several advantages: it is not only robust and proof against material fatigue but it has a high temperature and shock resistance. The silicon has a reflective coating that intensifies the reflection of the light. Thanks to positioning technology integrated in the chip, it is possible to continuously track where the mirror steers the laser beam and which position is being measured. This in turn enables correction to the point of operation."

SemiconductorEngineering publishes Xilinx promotional article saying that ZVision, Robosense, Baraja, Benewake, Blickfeld, Hesai, Innovusion, Opsys, OURS, Ouster, Phantom Intelligence, Pointcloud, SureStar, and many others use Xilinx platform for their LiDARs signal processing.

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