Ultra-sensitive light detection systems are increasingly being employed in applications such as mobile range finding, automotive ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), gesture recognition, 3D mapping, security, etc. There is an increasing need for “Super-Camera” which is capable of producing two-dimensional and three-dimensional imaging simultaneously. Moreover, the implementation of 2D/3D staring optical-radar for long ranges has great marketing potential. Nowadays, most of the currently available solutions are limited to short ranges and mostly implemented as hybrid systems (multi-chips). The known solutions for ultra-sensitive optical radars are implemented using very expensive technologies and require a lot of computing power. Furthermore, existing solutions today have very low noise immunity, which greatly limits the performance and range.
The technology offers a circuit, system, and architecture based on CMOS- Si photomultipliers (SiPMs) for ToF measurements, where the mixed-signal circuitry as well as the logical concepts are implemented at the die level. Each SiPM pixel in the ToF system integrates a dense array of N-parallel small, photodiodes in Geiger mode, known as single photon avalanche diode (SPAD), which have been electrically isolated.
- Combines on-die the advantages of SPADs and SiPM, enabling simultaneously the capture of 2D images as well as 3D images to achieve an optical radar to detect obstacles.
- Operates at low light conditions and is implemented using cost-effective CMOS technology.
Applications and Opportunities
- 3-D range measurements and 3D mapping
- Light detection and ranging (LIDAR)
- Gesture recognition – gaming and security