VCSEL array as core component for Ibeo's solid-state lidar

July 11, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
VCSEL array as core component for Ibeo's solid-state lidar
The semiconductor manufacturer ams is investing massively in the development of products and technologies for customers in the automotive market. The company intends to double its resources for this market segment within 18 months. Cooperation with the Lidar expert Ibeo Automotive Systems plays an important role in this. The two partners presented their technology at an event in Munich.

ams wants to sharpen its profile as a supplier of sensor solutions and focuses primarily on optical and acoustic sensors, image acquisition and special sensors in various industrial fields of application. To this end, the Austrian-American company is cooperating with various industrial partners; most recently, it announced a cooperation with the imaging expert SmartSens. "We are focusing on a narrow niche in the highly specialized sensor market," explained ams CEO Alex Everke at a company event in Munich.

One of the most important markets for ams is the fast-growing field of automotive electronics. "In reality, this market is much larger than just automotive electronics - we serve the entire mobility market," said Everke. This market is not that small: ams estimates that the entire global automotive industry will need 22 billion sensors by 2020 - in just one year.

An important building block in ams' automotive strategy is the previosly announced cooperation with Ibeo Automotive Systems, a supplier of lidar systems for environmental sensing. "Automated driving requires sensor technology that complements radar and camera," says Chris Feige, Executive Vice President of ams' Automotive division, describing the motivation for this collaboration. The interest is mutual: Ibeo's unique selling proposition is a semiconductor-based lidar that does entirely without moving parts - "even without MEMS," as the head of Ibeo's sensor development, Michael Kiehn, emphasizes. Because the sensor has no moving parts, it is cheaper in production and much more robust in operation, explains Kiehn.

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