【Exclusive Interview】Laser Components Continues to Advance Lasers and Photodiodes for Industrial and Automotive LiDAR Markets

Laser Components, a company providing comprehensive optoelectronics product lines including pulsed laser diodes, VCSELs, Si-APD arrays, and Si-SPADs for next-generation LiDAR, announced cutting-edge advancements and achievements that are moving the sensors industry forward. In response to industrial and automotive LiDAR market demand, Laser Components continues to successfully develop novel technology and offer off-the-shelf and customized solutions year after year. TrendForce was honored to have an exclusive interview with Winfried Reeb, head of business unit active components, to share the latest progress on laser and photodiode products for both automotive and industrial / military / defense markets, as well as the advances in trenched-chip technology for pulsed laser diodes to meet today’s demanding sensing range requirements.
Regarding automotive LiDAR, Reeb indicated that the aim for automotive LiDAR is receiving more depth information by emitting high optical power within a short time (2-5 ns). Therefore, multi-junction / array technology is needed.

In addition, packaging of LiDAR lasers has transitioned from the TO-can to an SMD process, thereby greatly facilitating the assembly for LiDAR customers. SMD packages offer many advantages including lower inductance (enabling higher optical power and shorter pulse times) and much easier handling (saving time during assembly). Once the economies of scale are met, an SMD package has lower cost than a TO-can. Furthermore, LiDAR laser providers continue to improve wavelength stability, helping their clients to increase the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio of their systems.

According to Reeb, Laser Components successfully developed a new generation of trenched-chip pulsed laser diode, the optical power of which was increased to 115W @ 100 ns pulse width from a 9 mil laser chip. The shorter the pulse width, the higher the optical power. Trenched-chip pulsed laser diodes are available as SMD package and have been introduced in both automotive and industrial markets.
As for the detector side, avalanche photodiodes (APDs) have higher sensitivity, excellent speed, and offer the best signal-to-noise ratio. With a gain between 10 and 200, they are most suitable for the automotive LiDAR market. When it comes to 1,550 nm LiDAR, the advantage is eye safety, but this is offset by high component cost and lower sensitivity performance compared to 905 nm LiDAR.

Asked about the market outlook in 2023, Reeb said that the market remains strong for industrial LiDAR as well as for range-finding in industry, military, and defense applications. Laser Components anticipates that the industrial LiDAR market can grow by 10-20% while defense and military markets have the potential to grow by 50% in 2023. On the electric vehicle market, OEMs are concerned with zero emission and energy saving issues. At the same time, they continue to plan the introduction of LiDAR to ADAS / autonomous driving Level 3 (Highway Pilot) in 2023-2024 to improve safety and AEB performance.
Author: Joanne / TrendForce
2023 Infrared Sensing Application Market and Branding Strategies
Release: 01 January 2023
Format: PDF
Language: Traditional Chinese / English
Page: 164

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