AES Semigas


18 July 2022

II-VI and Artilux demo longer-range, higher-resolution 3D camera operating at 1380nm

Engineered materials and optoelectronic component maker II-VI Inc of Saxonburg, PA, USA and Artilux of Hsinchu, Taiwan, which specializes in germanium silicon (GeSi) photonics and CMOS short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) sensing technology, have jointly demonstrated a next-generation 3D camera with much longer range and higher image resolution.

Investments in the metaverse infrastructure are accelerating and driving the demand for sensors that enable more realistic and immersive virtual experiences, says the firms. II-VI and Artilux combined their proprietary technologies in indium phosphide (InP) lasers and GeSi sensor arrays, respectively, to demonstrate a miniature 3D camera that operates in the short-wavelength infrared at 1380nm, resulting in significantly higher performance than existing cameras operating at 940nm, it is reckoned.

“The longer infrared wavelength provides better contrasts and reveals material details that are otherwise not visible with shorter-wavelength illumination, especially in outdoor environments,” says Dr Julie Sheridan Eng, senior VP, Optoelectronic Devices & Modules business unit, II-VI. “By designing a camera that operates at 1380nm instead of 940nm, we can illuminate the scene with greater brightness and still remain well within the margins of eye-safety requirements. In addition, the atmosphere absorbs more sunlight at 1380nm than at 940nm, which reduces background light interference, greatly improving the signal-to-noise ratio and enabling cameras with longer range and better image resolution,” she adds.

II-VI provided the highly integrated SWIR illumination module comprising InP edge-emitting lasers that deliver up to 2W of output power and optical diffusers, in surface-mount technology (SMT) packages for low-cost and high-quality assembly. Artilux’s camera features a high-bandwidth and high-quantum-efficiency GeSi SWIR sensor array based on a scalable CMOS technology platform. Combined, the products enable a broad range of depth-sensing applications in consumer and automotive markets.

“The miniature SWIR 3D camera can be seamlessly integrated into next-generation consumer devices, many of which are under development for augmented-, mixed- and virtual-reality applications,” says Artilux co-founder & chief technology officer Dr Neil Na. “II-VI and Artilux demonstrated a key capability that will enable the metaverse to become a popular venue for entertainment, work and play,” he adds. “The SWIR camera demonstration provides a glimpse of the future of 3D sensing in the metaverse, with displays that can identify, delineate, classify and render image content, or with avatars that can experience real-time eye contact and facial expressions.”

Tags: SWIR cameras




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