Pulsed laser diodes and APD arrays from a single provider

3rd July 2019
Alex Lynn

LASER COMPONENTS is a reliable manufacturer of both ultrafast pulsed laser diodes and highly-sensitive avalanche photodiodes, thus covering both key technologies of high-performance LiDAR systems. Carmakers and other companies all over the world are currently working hard to bring the idea of self-driving cars to the 5th level. 

Most of them agree that light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is one of the key technologies in this endeavour. Using thousands of laser pulses - each only lasting a few nanoseconds - LiDAR can create a detailed image of the environment surrounding the car within the shortest time possible.

Naturally, the standards demanded for automotive LiDAR solutions are considerably higher than those of other applications. Manufacturers are calling for pulsed laser diodes with shorter and shorter pulses, higher and higher pulse frequencies, and - on the detector side - more and more sensitive sensors that allow the largest scanning fields possible. In addition, the systems should be easy to integrate into the vehicle design; in other words, they should be as small as possible.

For decades, LASER COMPONENTS has been an expert in LiDAR solutions for other demanding fields, such as security and industry scanners. LASER COMPONENTS is one of the few manufacturers in the world to provide specialty solutions on both the emitting and receiving end of this technology. In our ISO-certified facilities, we manufacture high-speed PLDs, sensitive APD receivers, and sensor arrays. 

Our LiDAR portfolio includes highlights such as QuickSwitch - the PLD with the shortest pulse duration, emitting up to 200,000 laser pulses per second; each with a typical duration of 2.5ns. Our Si APD arrays are based on fast, low-noise avalanche diodes and characterised by a very narrow gap of just 40μm between the elements.

In 2017, the first 905DxxUA PLD qualified for use in the automotive industry by complying with the reliability and environmental standards of the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC). These diodes are highly reliable, possess excellent overdrive capabilities, and optimal thermal stability. Additionally, the design features very precise chip alignment inside the hermetic housing.

In addition, our new ground-breaking single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) array is certain to provide new opportunities in flash LiDAR technology.

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