CMOS based SPAD Arrays and SiPMs for the next LIDAR generation

by Jakub Stein-Cichoszewski, Elmos Semiconductor AG

LIDAR is one of the enabling sensor technology for advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), autonomous driving and mobile robotics. Therefore, we developed LIDAR dedicated Single-Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) arrays and Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) arrays, which are manufactured within our own automotive qualified 0.35µm CMOS technology.

A 16×256 pixels SPAD Array with integrated time-to-digital converter (TDC) enables laser ranging with a maximal range of 192 m and a resolution of 4.68 cm, respectively. For efficient background light rejection each macro-pixel uses four vertically arranged single SPADs based on the detection of temporal correlated photons. Very high SPAD fill factor for better photon management results from relocation of both coincidence and TDC circuits into the sensor’s periphery.

The later are shared in a rolling shutter configuration. For purpose of demonstration, a LiDAR camera with the developed sensor has been built. Recently, a novel red enhanced 1×16 SiPM array has been developed compatible with current LIDAR systems but offers the advantages of SPAD compared with APD.

program: https://www.automotivephotonicsconference.com/program/

Interview

What drives you?
It is thrilling to take part in the revolutionary changes in the automotive industry. As a technology scout at Elmos Semiconductor I am always in the first line of latest trends and technology commercialization.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
Elmos will present the latest results on CMOS SPADs (Single Photon Avalanche Diode) arrays and SiPM (Silicon Photomultiplier) for LIDAR applications. We truly believe that SPADs and SIPM will be the “eyes” of the next generations LIDAR sensors.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
We see car as the next smart device. Electronics & photonics share in the car will be continuously growing due to the global mobility mega-trends. These include the trend towards more driver assistance systems extending all the way to autonomous driving, electrically powered vehicle, and higher standards in regards to safety, connectivity, and comfort.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
In the long term, they will change the way and how extensively the car will be used. It will be a similar transition like in the case of mobile phone to smart phone era. We also expect an increase of safety thanks to driving assistance systems.

“Special quote”
Elmos Semiconductor is strongly convinced that CMOS SPADs (Single Photon Avalache Diodes) and SiPM (Silicon Photomultipliers) will be the “eyes” of the next generations LIDAR sensors.

About Jakub Stein-Cichoszewski

Dr. Jakub Stein-Cichoszewski, following studies in technical physics at the Technical University of Gdansk and University of Stuttgart, continued with a PhD in the field of photovoltaics. He also holds a Master of Science in Science and Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin. Since 2016 he is working as a technology scout at Elmos Semiconductor AG.

About Elmos Semiconductor AG

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