• Coherent technology improves sensitivity, increases range and accuracy and adds the velocity dimension to 3D imaging and sensing.
  • Integrated optics brings scalable low-cost and low-power benefits to Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) LiDAR, spectroscopy, and other types of sensor applications for use across many markets including automotive and healthcare.

Rockley Photonics, a leading integrated optics solutions provider, has unveiled the strength of its coherent sensing capabilities in its silicon photonics platform. At Sensors Expo 2019, Rockley is inviting guests to interact with a live testbed demonstrating Rockley’s coherent laser advantage with FMCW LiDAR.

Integrated optical coherent sensor technology brings miniaturization, high sensitivity, eye safety and scalability to the fields of LiDAR, spectroscopy and other sensor applications and is broadly considered enabling for advancements in a wide range of markets from automotive to healthcare.

The LiDAR market alone is estimated to be worth over US$6 billion by 2024, with demand growing rapidly in advanced automotive safety systems (ADAS), vehicle autonomy and industrial machine vision. Its use, however, is currently limited in price-sensitive markets because of the high cost and the precise manufacturing tolerances required.

Andrew Rickman, chief executive of Rockley explains: “Rockley’s unique silicon photonics platform is ideally suited to solving the challenges faced by today’s widely used LiDAR technologies. Our platform provides the scalability to enable the low cost required to bring LiDAR imaging and other advanced sensing solutions into the mainstream.”

Additionally, in an FMCW LiDAR system, only a single acquisition of data is required for coherent technology to measure accurate target velocity – a capability unachievable with most LiDARs in use today and an enormous benefit to achieve full autonomy.

Rickman continued, “We are well aware that integration is key to achieving volume scaling and low costs. Our wafer-scale platform provides all the elements for fully integrated optical solutions including: multi-beam lasers, ‘photon-optimized’ high-power handling waveguides and sensitive balanced detectors – a unique combination of features in the silicon photonics industry that can deliver the specifications the automotive OEMs desire.”

Rockley’s highly versatile silicon photonics platform can deliver coherent sensor capabilities that are uniquely suited to the LiDAR and broader 3D imaging markets as well as many other sensing applications. Working with its tier-1 development partners in multiple verticals, Rockley is poised to insert integrated optics into new products. Its technology will disrupt markets by improving performance, adding additional capabilities, lowering costs and providing much needed scalability.

Optically integrated coherent LiDAR at 1550nm provides the features and benefits automotive OEMs desire, including solid-state scalability, low-cost, high sensitivity, and eye safety.