Osram and GaN Systems introduce ultrafast laser driver with high-power, multi-channel for LiDAR
03.01.2019 | Trade Press
Osram Opto Semiconductors, a leading optoelectronics company and global number 1 in automotive lighting, announced an ultrafast laser driver with a high-power, multi-channel Surface Mount (SMT) laser for LiDAR (Light detection and ranging) systems. Osram, the leader in LiDAR lasers, and GaN Systems, the leader in GaN power semiconductors, partnered to develop the breakthrough in laser driver technology that enables longer range and higher resolution LiDAR architectures.
Osram has continuously expanded its laser portfolio for LiDAR to accommodate the needs of customers, including increasing the peak power of the SPL DS90A_3 to 120 W at 40 A. In addition, Osram plans to release a four-channel SMT laser in 2019. The additional channels increase the field of view and total peak power, with each channel being capable of generating 120 W.
One of the issues with LiDAR technology has been its inability to transmit lasers at short pulses, while maintaining high peak power, which is necessary to ensure that the LiDAR is eye safe with a long range and high resolution. To address this need, Osram worked with GaN Systems to develop a laser driver with a one nanosecond pulse rise time, while driving all four channels at 40 A each to deliver 480 W peak power. This peak power then can be modulated at low-duty cycles to produce high resolution 3D cloud points at long range for new LiDAR designs.
“Operating at the elevated current levels and nanosecond rise times necessary for long-distance LiDAR requires the high power, high frequency and robust thermal performance that are the hallmarks of GaN Systems’ products,” said Jim Witham, CEO of GaN Systems. “It is great to see the industry recognize these performance attributes and leverage them for its systems.”
Scanning LiDAR is a key technology for Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), which is designed to increase road safety and enable autonomous driving. These electronic devices react instantly to potential collisions without wasting precious seconds of reaction time. Scanning LiDAR creates high-resolution 3D images of a car’s surroundings and registers obstacles early enough for ADAS or self-driving cars to initiate the appropriate driving maneuvers, such as automatic braking to prevent collisions.
“Osram enables LiDAR technology for autonomous vehicles by not only developing high power, multi-channel SMT lasers that meet automotive quality standards, but also working with eco-system partners like GaN Systems to address the technological barriers that arise,“ said Rajeev Thakur, Senior Marketing Manager at Osram Opto Semiconductors. “Our lasers are leading the way to make autonomous driving a reality for everyone.”
OSRAM, based in Munich, is a leading global high-tech company with a history dating back more than 110 years. Primarily focused on semiconductor-based technologies, our products are used in highly diverse applications ranging from virtual reality to autonomous driving and from smartphones to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. OSRAM uses the endless possibilities of light to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities. OSRAM’s innovations enable people all over the world not only to see better, but also to communicate, travel, work and live better. OSRAM has approximately 27,400 employees worldwide as of end of fiscal 2018 (September 30) and generated revenue of more than €4.1 billion. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Munich (ISIN: DE000LED4000; WKN: LED 400; trading symbol: OSR). Additional information can be found at www.osram.com.
ABOUT GaN Systems
GaN Systems is the global leader in GaN power semiconductors with the largest portfolio of transistors that uniquely address the needs of today’s most demanding industries including data center servers, renewable energy systems, automotive, industrial motors and consumer electronics. As a market-leading innovator, GaN Systems makes possible the design of smaller, lower cost, more efficient power systems. The company’s award-winning products provide system design opportunities free from the limitations of yesterday’s silicon. By changing the rules of transistor performance, GaN Systems is enabling power conversion companies to revolutionize their industries and transform the world. For more information, please visit: www.gansystems.com.