3 February 2020
NeoPhotonics samples high-power SOAs and narrow-linewidth lasers for coherent LiDAR transceivers
NeoPhotonics Corp of San Jose, CA, USA (a vertically integrated designer and manufacturer of hybrid photonic integrated optoelectronic modules and subsystems for high-speed communications) is sampling high-power semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) and narrow-linewidth (NLW) distributed feedback (DFB) lasers for long-range automotive LiDAR (light detection and ranging) applications.
Operating in eye-safe wavelength regions, the new devices include 1550nm-wavelength SOAs with >24dBm (>250mW) output power along with 1550nm NLW-DFB lasers that enable automotive LiDAR systems to ‘see’ considerably further than 200m, significantly enhancing safety.
Existing LiDAR systems for autonomous vehicles (AVs) use expensive discrete optical components and employ direct detection measurement of the reflected light intensity, which limits range and sensitivity. Next-generation LiDAR systems will use coherent technology, which was pioneered by NeoPhotonics for communications networks, to greatly increase the range and sensitivity by measuring the phase of the reflected light. Coherent LiDAR systems are fabricated using chip-scale manufacturing to reduce costs and enable high volume.
Chip-scale manufacturing requires coherent photonic integrated circuits (PICs) powered by low phase- and intensity-noise semiconductor lasers and high-output-power SOAs. Narrow-linewidth and low-phase-noise lasers enable the precise phase measurements required by coherent detection and optical amplifiers to boost the optical signal power for long-reach detection. When combined with coherent PIC receivers, a high-power SOA and NLW-DFB laser enable coherent LiDAR transceivers for high-volume manufacturing.
“Our laser components are key elements for chip-scale LiDAR systems that can be manufactured in high volumes,” says chairman & CEO Tim Jenks. “LiDAR architectures based on coherent technologies have the advantage of leveraging high-volume, chip-scale technologies developed by NeoPhotonics for telecommunications and data-center interconnect applications,” he adds. “Laser components are manufactured in our internal fabs and utilize our advanced hybrid photonic integration technology for high performance and high reliability, allowing system integrators to quickly leverage coherent technology and its established manufacturing supply-chain for LiDAR applications.”