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Lidar Sensors Reviewed at Silicon Valley Conference

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Lidar Sensors Reviewed

As technology continues to improve and costs decrease, the applications of LiDAR are likely to increase dramatically. At the Sensors Converge 2022 conference, LiDAR sensor companies were demonstrating amazing technology for applications that include automobiles, robots, drones, smart cities, logistics, and even road repairs.

The All About Circuits team reviews just a couple of the many demonstrations of new LiDAR technologies from this week’s Sensors Converge conference in Silicon Valley. In this article, written by Dale Wilson he dives into some of the technology being demonstrated at this year’s conference.

XenomatiX True Solid-State LiDAR

The first company we’ll dig into is XenomatiX. “It’s not a solid-state LiDAR; it’s a true solid-state LiDAR,” emphasized Jacopo Alaimo, XenomatiX’s Sales and Business Development Manager, when describing the XenomatiX LiDAR or “XenoLidar-X” products. The difference from competitors is that XenomotiX is not using mechanical scanning or even micromirrors to create a 3D point cloud.

Instead, XenomatiX uses thousands of VCSELs (vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers) to map a scene in a single flash. A global shutter allows them to collect a full frame of data with a single snapshot of its CMOS image sensor.

The CMOS image sensor not only receives the LiDAR photons to generate a 3D topographic point cloud but is also used to capture a 2D visual background image. The 3D point cloud and 2D image can be overlaid to provide additional scene information or combined with sensor fusion for improved object detection.

PreAct’s Software-defined Near-field Flash LiDAR

While most of the work in ADAS (advanced driver-monitoring systems) is focused on far-field collision prevention, PreAct Technologies is bringing its continuous-wave near-field flash radar technology to imminent collision detection. With low cost, high frame rate, and high accuracy, it hopes one day to provide valuable milliseconds of warning to the car safety systems just before an unavoidable collision occurs.

At this conference, we meet with Paul Drysch, Founder and CEO of PreAct Technologies, shortly before its T30P Flash LiDAR won a Best of Sensors Award in the Automotive/Autonomous Technologies segment at the Sensors Converge conference on Tuesday. Naturally, we asked him why those extra milliseconds are important. Some of the answers were surprising.

First, you can launch much larger airbags that inflate more slowly. Larger and even multi-stage airbags could provide additional protection to the occupants, while the slower inflation rates would reduce the injuries that are currently caused by airbag inflation.

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