Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) of Norwood, Massachusetts USA, announced the acquisition of a solid-state laser beam steering technology from Vescent Photonics, Inc. Vescent Photonics is a privately held, Golden Colorado-based company with non-mechanical laser beam steering technology that can enable more robust integrated LIDAR systems.
Vescent Photonics says that its Liquid Crystal Waveguide technology can overcome many of the drawbacks of bulky mechanical LIDAR systems including problems of reliability, large size, and high cost.
ADI says that the acquisition strengthens its position as a major player in automotive safety system technology for next generation Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). ADI says that the technology acquisition also builds on its 20-year history in advancing automotive safety.
Advanced ADAS systems rely on sensor technologies including cameras, RADAR, and LIDAR. ADAS and autonomous driving systems use such sensors to provide advanced safety features like forward collision warning, blind spot detection, pedestrian detection, and other autonomous driving functions.
ADAS and autonomous driving systems widely use cameras for object recognition, and RADAR measures distance with radio-frequency electromagnetic waves. LIDAR uses laser beams to measure distances and can to some extent recognize objects. ADAS and autonomous driving systems can use scanning LIDAR to detect objects on or near the roadway and fill in RADAR and camera blind spots.
“From inertial MEMS sensors used in airbag and electronic stability control applications2 to 24 GHz and 77 GHz automotive RADAR, ADI solutions have helped save lives for over two decades,” said Chris Jacobs, general manager of Automotive Safety, Analog Devices. “And now, this innovative technology will play an important role in making LIDAR systems more compact, more robust, and an affordable feature in every new car worldwide.”