TRUMPF industrializes SWIR VCSELs above 1.3 micron wavelength

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From Yole industry news: https://www.yolegroup.com/industry-news/trumpf-reports-breakthrough-in-industrializing-swir-vcsels-above-1300-nm/

TRUMPF reports breakthrough in industrializing SWIR VCSELs above 1300 nm

TRUMPF Photonic Components, a global leader in VCSEL and photodiode solutions, is industrializing the production of SWIR VCSELs above 1300 nm to support high volume applications such as in smartphones in under-OLED applications. The company demonstrates outstanding results regarding the efficiency of infrared laser components with long wavelengths beyond 1300 nm on an industrial-grade manufacturing level. This takes TRUMPF one step further towards mass production of indium-phosphide-based (InP) VCSELs in the range from 1300 nm to 2000 nm. “At TRUMPF we are working hard to mature this revolutionary production process and to implement standardization, which would further develop this outstanding technology into a cost-attractive solution. We aim to bring the first products to the high-volume market in 2025,” said Berthold Schmidt, CEO at TRUMPF Photonic Components. By developing the new industrial production platform, TRUMPF is expanding its current portfolio of Gallium arsenide- (GaAs-) based VCSELs in the 760 nm to 1300 nm range for NIR applications. The new platform is more flexible in the longer wavelength spectrum than are GaAs, but it still provides the same benefits as compact, robust and economical light sources. “The groundwork for the successful implementation of long-wavelength VCSELs in high volumes has been laid. But we also know that it is still a way to go, and major production equipment investments have to be made before ramping up mass production”, said Schmidt.

VCSELs to conquer new application fields

A broad application field can be revolutionized by the industrialization of long-wavelength VCSELs, as the SWIR VCSELs can be used in applications with higher output power while remaining eye-safe compared to shorter-wavelength VCSELs. The long wavelength solution is not susceptible to disturbing light such as sunlight in a broader wavelength regime. One popular example from the mass markets of smartphone and consumer electronics devices, is under-OLED applications. The InP-based VCSELs can be easily put below these OLED displays, without disturbing other functionalities and with the benefit of higher eye-safety standards. OLED displays are a huge application field for long wavelength sensor solutions. “In future we expect high volume projects not only in the fields of consumer sensing, but automotive LiDAR, data communication applications for longer reach, medical applications such as spectroscopy applications, as well as photonic integrated circuits (PICs), and quantum photonic integrated circuits (QPICs). The related demands enable the SWIR VCSEL technology to make a breakthrough in mass production”, said Schmidt.

Exceptional test results

TRUMPF presents results showing VCSEL laser performance up to 140°C at ~1390 nm wavelength. The technology used for fabrication is scalable for mass production and the emission wavelength can be tuned between 1300 nm to 2000 nm, resulting in a wide range of applications. Recent results show good reproducible behavior and excellent temperature performance. “I’m proud of my team, as it’s their achievement that we can present exceptional results in the performance and robustness of these devices”, said Schmidt. “We are confident that the highly efficient, long wavelength VCSELs can be produced at high yield to support cost-effective solutions”, Schmidt adds.

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ON Semi announces that it will be manufacturing image sensors in New York

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Press release: https://www.onsemi.com/company/news-media/press-announcements/en/onsemi-commemorates-transfer-of-ownership-of-east-fishkill-new-york-facility-from-globalfoundries-with-ribbon-cutting-ceremony

onsemi Commemorates Transfer of Ownership of East Fishkill, New York Facility from GlobalFoundries with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

  • Acquisition and investments planned for ramp-up at the East Fishkill (EFK) fab create onsemi’s largest U.S. manufacturing site
  • EFK enables accelerated growth and differentiation for onsemi’s power, analog and sensing technologies
  • onsemi retains more than 1,000 jobs at the site
PHOENIX – Feb. 10, 2023 – onsemi (Nasdaq: ON) a leader in intelligent power and sensing technologies, today announced the successful completion of its acquisition of GlobalFoundries’ (GF’s) 300 mm East Fishkill (EFK), New York site and fabrication facility, effective December 31, 2022. The transaction added more than 1,000 world-class technologists and engineers to the onsemi team. Highlighting the importance of manufacturing semiconductors in the U.S., the company celebrated this milestone event with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), joined by Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce on CHIPS Implementation J.D. Grom. Also in attendance were several other local governmental dignitaries.

Over the last three years, onsemi has been focusing on securing a long-term future for the EFK facility and its employees, making significant investments in its 300 mm capabilities to accelerate growth in the company’s power, analog and sensing products, and enable an improved manufacturing cost structure. The EFK fab is the largest onsemi manufacturing facility in the U.S., adding advanced CMOS capabilities - including 40 nm and 65 nm technology nodes with specialized processing capabilities required for image sensor production - to the company’s manufacturing profile. The transaction includes an exclusive commitment to supply GF with differentiated semiconductor solutions and investments in research and development as both companies collaborate to build on future growth.

“With today’s ribbon cutting, onsemi will preserve more than 1,000 local jobs, continue to boost the state’s leadership in the semiconductor industry, and supply ‘Made in New York' chips for everything from electric vehicles to energy infrastructure across the country,” said Senator Schumer. “I am elated that onsemi has officially made East Fishkill home to its leading and largest manufacturing fab in the U.S. onsemi has already hired nearly 100 new people and invested committed $1.3 billion to continue the Hudson Valley’s rich history of science and technology for future generations. I have long said that New York had all the right ingredients to rebuild our nation’s semiconductor industry, and personally met with onsemi’s top brass multiple times to emphasize this as I was working on my historic CHIPS legislation. Thanks to my CHIPS and Science Act, we are bringing manufacturing back to our country and strengthening our supply chains with investments like onsemi’s in the Hudson Valley.”

The EFK facility contributes to the community by retaining more than 1,000 jobs. With the recent passage of the Federal CHIPS and Science Act as well as the New York Green CHIPS Program, onsemi will continue to evaluate opportunities for expansion and growth in East Fishkill and its contribution to the surrounding community. Earlier today, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) announced that onsemi has pledged to donate $500,000 over 10 years to support projects and education aimed at increasing the pipeline of engineers in the semiconductor industry.

“onsemi appreciates Senate Majority Leader Schumer’s unwavering commitment to ensure American leadership in semiconductors and chip manufacturing investments in New York,” said Hassane El-Khoury, president and chief executive officer, onsemi. “With the addition of EFK to our manufacturing footprint, onsemi will have the only 12-inch power discrete and image sensor fab in the U.S., enabling us to accelerate our growth in the megatrends of vehicle electrification, ADAS, energy infrastructure and factory automation. We look forward to working with Empire State Development and local government officials to find key community programs and educational partnerships that will allow us to identify, train and employ the next generation of semiconductor talent in New York.”

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Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S, a fast mid-telephoto prime lens for the Nikon Z mount system

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Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8, a slim wide-angle prime lens for the Nikon Z mount system

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Nikon releases a new black version of the Z fc APS-C size mirrorless camera

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Startup Funding News from Semiconductor Engineering

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Link: https://semiengineering.com/startup-funding-december-2022/#Sensors

Fortsense received hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.3M) in Series C1 financing led by Chengdu Science and Technology Venture Capital, joined by BAIC Capital, Huiyou Investment, Shanghai International Group, Shengzhong Investment, and others. The company develops optical sensing chips, including 3D structured light chips for under-screen fingerprint sensors and time-of-flight (ToF) sensors for facial recognition in mobile devices. Funding will be used for development of single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) lidar chips for automotive applications. Founded in 2017, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

PolarisIC raised nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.3M) in pre-Series A financing from Dami Ventures, Innomed Capital, Legend Capital, Nanshan SEI Investment, and Planck Venture Capital. PolarisIC makes single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) direct time-of-flight (dToF) sensors and photon counting low-light imaging chips for mobile phones, robotic vacuums, drones, industrial sensors, and AGV. Funds will be used for mass production and development of 3D stacking technology and back-illuminated SPAD. Based in Shenzhen, China, it was founded in 2021.

VicoreTek received nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.3M) in strategic financing led by ASR Microelectronics and joined by Bondshine Capital. The startup develops image processing and sensor fusion chips, AI algorithms, and modules for object avoidance in sweeping robots. It plans to expand to other types of service robots and AR/MR, followed by the automotive market. Funds will be used for R&D and mass production. Founded in 2019, it is based in Nanjing, China.

Greenteg drew CHF 10.0M (~$10.8M) in funding from existing and new investors. The company makes heat flux sensors for applications ranging from photonics, building insulation, and battery characterization to core body temperature measurement in the form factor of wearables. Funds will be used for R&D into medical applications in the wearable market and to scale production capacity. Founded in 2009 as a spin off from ETH Zurich, it is based in Rümlang, Switzerland.

Phlux Technology raised £4.0M (~$4.9M) in seed funding led by Octopus Ventures and joined by Northern Gritstone, Foresight Williams Technology Funds, and QUBIS Innovation Fund. Phlux develops antimony-based infrared sensors for lidar systems. The startup claims its architecture is 10x more sensitive and with 50% more range compared to equivalent sensors. It currently offers a single element sensor that is retrofittable into existing lidar systems and plans to build an integrated subsystem and array modules for a high-performance sensor toolkit. Other applications for the infrared sensors include satellite communications internet, fiber telecoms, autonomous vehicles, gas sensing, and quantum communications. Phlux was also recently awarded an Innovate UK project with QLM Technology to develop a lidar system for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions. A spin out of Sheffield University founded in 2020, it is based in Sheffield, UK.

Microparity raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in pre-Series A+ funding from Summitview Capital. Microparity develops high-performance direct time-of-flight (dToF) single photon detection devices, including single-photon avalanche diodes (SPAD), silicon photomultipliers (SiPM), and SiPM readout ASICs for consumer electronics, lidar, medical imaging, industrial inspection, and other applications. Founded in 2017, it is based in Hangzhou, China.

Yegrand Smart Science & Technology raised pre-Series A financing from Zhejiang Venture Capital. Yegrand Smart develops photon pickup and Doppler lidar equipment for measuring vibration. Founded in 2021, it is based in Hangzhou, China.

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Nikon is developing the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S, a fast mid-telephoto prime lens, and the NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8, a slim wide-angle prime lens for the Nikon Z mount system

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Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2 (SE), a compact and lightweight prime lens for the Nikon Z mount system

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Nikon releases the MC-N10 Remote Grip for the Nikon Z mount system

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Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S, a fast, super-telephoto prime lens with a built-in 1.4x teleconverter for the Nikon Z mount system

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Nikon releases the upgraded firmware version 3.00 for the Nikon Z 9 full-frame mirrorless camera

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Nikon Photo Contest 2022-2023: Call for Entries

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Nikon to exhibit a sample camera specially equipped with an image provenance function at Adobe MAX 2022

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CIS market to exceed $30B by 2027

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Optics.org news: https://optics.org/news/13/9/18



13 Sep 2022

Yole Intelligence says that Sony is looking to consolidate its leading position as the market begins a new growth cycle.

Analysts at Yole Intelligence, the France-based research market company, are predicting that the market for CMOS image sensors is about to begin a new phase of growth - and will be worth more than $31 billion by 2027.

If correct, it would represent a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 7 per cent, with the sector recovering from a slump caused by US sanctions on Chinese vendors.

That rate of growth is expected to be propelled primarily by applications in smart phones - the largest single end market for the devices - as well as emerging use cases in the automotive sector and security imaging.

Solid growth

Yole says that the market for CMOS image sensors grew nearly 25 per cent in 2019 - with buyers partly responsible for creating a bubble as they stockpiled devices in advance of those sanctions taking effect.

In 2020 the rate of growth slowed to just over 7 per cent, before the combination of sanctions and supply-chain effects resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic saw growth drop to just 2.8 per cent in 2021.

However, a recovery appears to have begun in the closing quarter of 2021, which is said to have been the best ever in terms of CMOS image sensor production. The market ended up being worth $21.3 billion that year, thinks Yole.

“A new growth cycle is now expected, supported by opportunities in mobile and other markets such as automotive and security imaging,” stated the firm. “In the coming years the [CMOS image sensor] industry growth will at least match the general semiconductor [industry] growth rate, reaching $31.4 billion by 2027 with a 6.7 per cent CAGR.”

According to the analyst team’s figures, mobile phone applications accounted for $13.4 billion in sales in 2021, almost two-thirds of the total market for CMOS image sensors. That sub-sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 6 per cent through 2027, reaching close to $20 billion.

Yole analyst Florian Domengie observed: “The [CMOS image sensor] ecosystem is still dominated by historical leaders. Sony, Samsung, OmniVision, and STMicroelectronics are all strong players in mobile and consumer markets.”

Market shares

The analyst firm’s figures indicate that Sony claimed the leading market share of 39 per cent in 2021, putting it ahead of Samsung (22 per cent), OmniVision (13 per cent), and STMicroelectronics (6 per cent).

However, that Sony figure is historically low, and the Japanese technology giant is now making efforts to increase it significantly.

“As a consequence of Covid-19 and the US Huawei ban, Sony’s market share faltered in 2021,” Yole explains. “That allowed its competitors to raise their game and play technology catch up.

“However, in June 2022, Sony confirmed its ambition to reclaim its market share, aiming at 60 per cent by 2025. This announcement should reinforce production capacity and research and development [spending] in the coming years.”

In its latest quarterly results announcement, Sony said that its sales of image sensors had been impacted by a slump in the Chinese smart phone sector, but added that it was expecting growing adoption of CMOS sensors with larger die sizes and higher resolution.

"In addition, due to an easing supply and demand equilibrium for logic semiconductors, it has become possible to gradually increase the production of high-value-added image sensors, the production of which was previously restricted due to supply constraints," Sony also pointed out.

The Yole report suggests that the leading Chinese manufacturers - OmniVision, GalaxyCore, and SmartSens - have responded well to the Huawei sanctions, and are now outperforming the competition.

Although its corporate headquarters is in Silicon Valley, and it used to be listed on the Nasdaq, OmniVision was acquired by a consortium of Chinese private equity investors in 2016 - and has since been sold to Shanghai-based Will Semiconductor.

Yole says that of the other Chinese players GalaxyCore is strengthening its position, approaching $1 billion in annual revenues and ranking fifth in the market, just ahead of US-based Onsemi.

Next comes Korea’s SK Hynix with a 3 per cent market share, and SmartSens with 2 per cent. Japan’s Canon and US defense group Teledyne round out the top ten suppliers, with Hamamatsu and Panasonic earning similar shares in 2021.


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Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8 ultrawide-angle zoom lens for the Nikon Z mount system

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Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8 ultrawide-angle zoom lens for the Nikon Z mount system

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Lumotive secures funding from Samsung Ventures

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Original news article: https://www.autonomousvehicleinternational.com/news/sensors/lumotive-secures-funding-for-lcm-beam-steering-chips.html

Lumotive secures funding for LCM beam steering chips

Lumotive, which is developing its Light Control Metasurface (LCM) beam steering chips, says it has secured a round of strategic funding led by Samsung Ventures. The investment includes contributions from new, strategic investors such as Himax Technologies, as well as Bill Gates, Quan Funds and MetaVC Partners.

Lumotive is planning to use the funding to accelerate the development and customer delivery of optical semiconductor devices that enable the next generation of lidar sensors. More than two dozen companies are currently engaged with Lumotive to utilize the high-performance, small-form-factor LCM chips to develop next-generation systems for autonomy, automation and augmented reality (AR) markets.

“Our optical semiconductor solutions are making it possible for a number of markets to quickly and cost-effectively implement advanced sensing capabilities in industry-changing products,” said Dr Sam Heidari, CEO of Lumotive. “With the LCM technology, Lumotive is uniquely positioned to be able to address the broad range of requirements across consumer, automotive and industrial sectors. Samsung Ventures is well known for identifying companies with disruptive technologies. We are very excited to partner with them as we deliver scalable products enabling Lidar 2.0 across diverse market segments by addressing power, cost and size requirements of consumer products as well as the performance needs of automotive products.”



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Four Nikon products, including the Nikon Z 9 mirrorless camera, honored with EISA Awards

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Statement Regarding Today’s Media Article

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Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S, a super-telephoto prime lens for the Nikon Z mount system

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Nikon releases the Z 30 APS-C size mirrorless camera which is ideal for vlog contents creators

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BrainChip + Prophesee partnership

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Laguna Hills, Calif. – June 14, 2022 – BrainChip Holdings Ltd (ASX: BRN, OTCQX: BRCHF, ADR: BCHPY), the world’s first commercial producer of neuromorphic AI IP, and Prophesee, the inventor of the world’s most advanced neuromorphic vision systems, today announced a technology partnership that delivers next-generation platforms for OEMs looking to integrate event-based vision systems with high levels of AI performance coupled with ultra-low power technologies.

Inspired by human vision, Prophesee’s technology uses a patented sensor design and AI algorithms that mimic the eye and brain to reveal what was invisible until now using standard frame-based technology. Prophesee’s computer vision systems open new potential in areas such as autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, IoT, security and surveillance, and AR/VR.

BrainChip’s first-to-market neuromorphic processor, Akida, mimics the human brain to analyze only essential sensor inputs at the point of acquisition, processing data with unparalleled efficiency, precision, and economy of energy. Keeping AI/ML local to the chip, independent of the cloud, also dramatically reduces latency.

“We’ve successfully ported the data from Prophesee’s neuromorphic-based camera sensor to process inference on Akida with impressive performance,” said Anil Mankar, Co-Founder and CDO of BrainChip. “This combination of intelligent vision sensors with Akida’s ability to process data with unparalleled efficiency, precision and economy of energy at the point of acquisition truly advances state-of-the-art AI enablement and offers manufacturers a ready-to-implement solution.”

“By combining our Metavision solution with Akida-based IP, we are better able to deliver a complete high-performance and ultra-low power solution to OEMs looking to leverage edge-based visual technologies as part of their product offerings, said Luca Verre, CEO and co-founder of Prophesee.”

For additional information about the BrainChip/Prophesee partnership contact sales@brainchip.com.

“We’ve successfully ported the data from Prophesee’s neuromorphic-based camera sensor to process inference on Akida with impressive performance,” said Anil Mankar, Co-Founder and CDO of BrainChip. “This combination of intelligent vision sensors with Akida’s ability to process data with unparalleled efficiency, precision and economy of energy at the point of acquisition truly advances state-of-the-art AI enablement and offers manufacturers a ready-to-implement solution.”

“By combining our Metavision solution with Akida-based IP, we are better able to deliver a complete high-performance and ultra-low power solution to OEMs looking to leverage edge-based visual technologies as part of their product offerings, said Luca Verre, CEO and co-founder of Prophesee.”

ABOUT BRAINCHIP HOLDINGS LTD (ASX: BRN, OTCQX: BRCHF, ADR: BCHPY)

BrainChip is the worldwide leader in edge AI on-chip processing and learning. The company’s first-to-market neuromorphic processor, AkidaTM, mimics the human brain to analyze only essential sensor inputs at the point of acquisition, processing data with unparalleled efficiency, precision, and economy of energy. Keeping machine learning local to the chip, independent of the cloud, also dramatically reduces latency while improving privacy and data security. In enabling effective edge compute to be universally deployable across real world applications such as connected cars, consumer electronics, and industrial IoT, BrainChip is proving that on-chip AI, close to the sensor, is the future, for its customers’ products, as well as the planet.

Explore the benefits of Essential AI at www.brainchip.com. 

For additional information about the BrainChip/Prophesee partnership, contact sales@brainchip.com.

ABOUT PROPHESEE

Prophesee is the inventor of the world’s most advanced neuromorphic vision systems.

The company developed a breakthrough Event-based Vision approach to machine vision. This new vision category allows for significant reductions of power, latency and data processing requirements to reveal what was invisible to traditional frame-based sensors until now. Prophesee’s patented Metavision® sensors and algorithms mimic how the human eye and brain work to dramatically improve efficiency in areas such as autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, IoT, security and surveillance, and AR/VR.

Prophesee is based in Paris, with local offices in Grenoble, Shanghai, Tokyo and Silicon Valley. The company is driven by a team of more than 100 visionary engineers, holds more than 50 international patents and is backed by leading international equity and corporate investors including 360 Capital Partners, European Investment Bank, iBionext, Intel Capital, Robert Bosch Ventures, Sinovation, Supernova Invest, Will Semiconductor, Xiaomi.

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In the News: Yole Webcast, Prophesee Software Suite

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The CIS market is back to strong growth: Are we at the beginning of the much-awaited sensing era?

Yole will host a webcast on Thursday 16, June 2022



The image sensor market struggled through a mixed 2021 but appears to have emerged strongly positioned. Could 2022 be the beginning of strong growth on the back of sensing applications?
In this webcast we will explore what the next few quarters and years hold for the CMOS image sensor (CIS) industry, including market demand, industry revenue and capacity.

This webcast will take a quick look back at 2021 to review the recent history of CIS before focusing on the near and mid-term prospects for the CIS industry. It will also cover market dynamics, supply, and pricing, with particular focus on answering the question, “Are we at the beginning of strong growth on the back of sensing applications?”

Prophesee releases its entire event-based vision software suite for free, including commercial license, further enabling community of thousands of Engineers and Researchers Worldwide


New release of 5X award-winning suite includes a complete set of Machine Learning tools, new key Open-Source modules, ready-to-use applications, code samples and allows for completely free evaluation, development and release of products with the included commercial license.

With this advanced toolkit, engineers can easily develop computer vision applications on a PC for a wide range of markets, including industrial automation, IoT, surveillance, mobile, medical, automotive and more.

“We have seen a significant increase in interest and use of Event-Based Vision and we now have an active and fast-growing community of more than 4,500 inventors using Metavision Intelligence since its launch. As we are opening the event-based vision market across many segments, we decided to boost the adoption of MIS throughout the ecosystem targeting 40,000 users in the next two years. By offering these development aids, we can accelerate the evolution of event-based vision to a broader range of applications and use cases and allow for each player in the chain to add its own value,” said Luca Verre, co-founder and CEO of Prophesee.





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Nikon introduces the PROSTAFF P7 Binoculars

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Nikon introduces the PROSTAFF P3 Binoculars

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Nikon releases the MC-CF660G memory card

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Three Nikon products receive the TIPA WORLD AWARDS 2022

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Veoneer and BMW agreement on next-gen automotive vision systems

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Veoneer to supply Cameras to BMW Group's Next Generation Vision System for Automated Driving

Stockholm, Sweden, May 18, 2022: The automotive technology company Veoneer has signed an agreement to equip BMW Group vehicles with camera heads for their next generation vision system for Automated Driving. The camera heads support the cooperation between BMW Group, Qualcomm Technologies, and Arriver™ which was announced in March this year.

The high definition 8 MP camera, mounted behind the rear-view mirror, monitors the forward path of the vehicle to provide reliable and accurate information to the vehicle control system.  

In BMW's next generation of Automated Driving Systems, BMW Group's current AD stack is combined with Arriver's Vision Perception and NCAP Drive Policy products on Qualcomm Technologies' system-on-chip, with the goal of designing best-in-class Automated Driving functions spanning NCAP, Level 2 and Level 3. Veoneer's camera heads are adapted to the current trend of a centralized and scalable software architecture and will be an essential part of the sensor set-up required for the next generation AD platform.

"We are excited to be part of the development of the next generation vision systems, planned to enter the market in 2025", says Jacob Svanberg, CEO of Veoneer. "This award with camera heads to the 5th generation vision system is another proof point that Veoneer remains at the forefront of providing safe, collaborative driving solutions."

Veoneer is an automotive technology company. As a world leader in active safety and restraint control systems, Veoneer is focused on delivering innovative, best-in-class products and solutions. Our purpose is to create trust in mobility. Veoneer is a Tier-1 hardware supplier and system integrator with products being part of more than 125 scheduled vehicle launches for 2022.  Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Veoneer has 6,100 employees in 11 countries. The Company is building on a heritage of close to 70 years of automotive safety development. 

https://www.veoneer.com/en/press-releases?page=/press/perma/2022030

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ams OSRAM VCSELs in Melexis’ in-cabin monitoring solution

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ams OSRAM VCSEL illuminator brings benefits of integrated eye safety to Melexis automotive in-cabin monitoring solution

Premstaetten, Austria (11 May, 2022) – ams OSRAM (SIX: AMS), a global leader in optical solutions, announces that it is supplying a high-performance infrared laser flood illuminator for the latest automotive indirect Time-of-Flight (iToF) demonstrator from Melexis.

The ams OSRAM vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) flood illuminator from the TARA2000-AUT family has been chosen for the new, improved version of the EVK75027 iToF sensing kit because it features an integrated eye safety interlock. This provides for a more compact, more reliable and faster system implementation than other VCSEL flood illuminators that require an external photodiode and processing circuitry.

The Melexis evaluation kit demonstrates the combined capabilities of the new ams OSRAM 940nm VCSEL flood illuminator in combination with an interface board and a processor board and the MLX75027 iToF sensor. The evaluation kit provides a complete hardware implementation of iToF depth sensing on which automotive OEMs can run software for cabin monitoring functions such as occupant detection and gesture sensing.


More reliable operation, faster detection of eye safety risks

The new ams OSRAM VCSEL with integrated eye safety interlock is implemented directly on the micro-lens array of the VCSEL module, and detects any cracks or apertures that can cause an eye safety risk. Earlier automotive implementations of iToF sensing have used VCSEL illuminators that require an external photodiode, a fault-prone, indirect method of providing the eye safety interlock function.

The read-out circuit requires no additional components other than an AND gate or a MOSFET. This produces almost instant (<1µs) reactions to fault conditions. A lower component count also reduces the bill-of-materials cost compared to photodiode-based systems. By eliminating the use of an external photodiode, the eye safety interlock eliminates the false signals created by objects such as a passenger’s hand obscuring the camera module.

“Automotive OEMs are continually looking for ways to simplify system designs and reduce component count. By integrating an eye safety interlock into the VCSEL illuminator module, ams OSRAM has found a new way to bring value to automotive customers. Not only will it reduce component count, but also increase reliability while offering the very highest levels of optical performance,” said Firat Sarialtun, Global Segment Manager for In-Cabin Sensing at ams OSRAM.

“With the EVK75027, Melexis has gone beyond the provision of a stand-alone iToF sensor to offer automotive customers a high-performance platform for 3D in-cabin sensing. We are pleased to be able to improve the value of the EVK75027 by now offering the option of a more integrated VCSEL flood illuminator on the kit’s illuminator board,” said Gualtiero Bagnuoli, Marketing manager Optical Sensors.

The EVK75027 evaluation kit with ams OSRAM illumination board can be ordered from authorized distributors of Melexis products (https://www.melexis.com/en/product/EVK75027/Evaluation-Kit-VGA-ToF-Sensor).

There is also a white paper on the new illumination board for the EVK75027, describing the benefits of implementing an iToF system with a VCSEL flood illuminator that includes an eye safety interlock. The white paper can be downloaded here: https://www.melexis.com/Eye-safe-IR-illumination-for-3D-TOF

Article: https://ams-osram.com/news/press-releases/melexis-eye-safety-itof

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Advanced Navigation Acquires Vai Photonics

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Advanced Navigation, one of the world’s most ambitious innovators in AI robotics, and navigation technology has today announced the acquisition of Vai Photonics, a spin-out from The Australian National University (ANU) developing patented photonic sensors for precision navigation. 
Vai Photonics share a similar vision to provide technology to drive the autonomy revolution and will join Advanced Navigation to commercialise their research into exciting autonomous and robotic applications across land, air, sea and space.

“The technology Vai Photonics is developing will be of huge importance to the emerging autonomy revolution. The synergies, shared vision and collaborative potential we see between Vai Photonics and Advanced Navigation will enable us to be at the absolute forefront of robotic and autonomy driven technologies,” said Xavier Orr, CEO and co-founder of Advanced Navigation. 

“Photonic technology will be critical to the overall success, safety and reliability of these new systems. We look forward to sharing the next generation of autonomous navigation and robotic solutions with the global community.”

James Spollard, CTO and co-founder of Vai Photonics detailed the technology “Precision navigation when GPS is unavailable or unreliable is a major challenge in the development of autonomous systems. Our emerging photonic sensing technology will enable positioning and navigation that is orders of magnitude more stable and precise than existing solutions in these environments.

“By combining laser interferometry and electro-optics with advanced signal processing algorithms and real-time software, we can measure how fast a vehicle is moving in three dimensions. As a result, we can accurately measure how the vehicle is moving through the environment, and from this infer where the vehicle is located with great precision.”

The technology, which has been in development for over 15 years at ANU, will solve complex autonomy challenges across aerospace, automotive, weather, space exploration as well as railways and logistics.

Aircraft with an electric vertical takeoff and landing system such as flying taxis will greatly benefit from this technology. Landing and takeoff are often considered the most dangerous and expensive part of a flight route. Vai Photonics sensors will provide safe and reliable autonomous takeoff and landings under all conditions. 

Space travel and exploration is fraught with risks, vast complexity and enormous cost. This technology will bring massive benefits to space missions, helping to cement Advanced Navigation as the gold-standard for space-qualified navigation systems for space exploration. 

Professor Brian Schmidt, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University said “Vai Photonics is another great ANU example of how you take fundamental research – the type of thinking that pushes the boundaries of what we know – and turn it into products and technologies that power our lives.

“The work that underpins Vai Photonics’ advanced autonomous navigation systems stems from the search for elusive gravitational waves – ripples in space and time caused by massive cosmic events like black holes colliding.

From: https://www.suasnews.com/2022/05/shaping-the-future-of-photonic-sensing-advanced-navigation-acquires-vai-photonics/?amp 

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