SemiNex Corporation announces the introduction of a patent-pending, multi-junction, semiconductor laser diode at eye-safe wavelengths between 1310nm and 1550nm with more than 20 times the photons/second and more than 3X the range compared to 905nm LiDAR systems which will enable mass-market auto-driving cars to finally become a reality. The multi-junction laser diode is a drop-in replacement for most compact laser drivers used for existing 9XXnm diode systems. The new SemiNex multi-junction laser diode makes use of 3 monolithic solid-state laser junctions that produce 80 watts at 1550nm with 95µm aperture width and yield more than 3X the power of current laser diodes at this wavelength. Product samples are available immediately and the multi-junction is ready for immediate high volume production.
Typical time-of-flight LiDAR systems using multi-junction 905nm lasers are limited to a range of 100 meters due to eye-safety acceptable emission limits (AEL) of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) regulations, thus limiting their use to niche applications such as private security systems, warehouse automation, and limited-use public driving functionality. The new SemiNex multi-junction laser enables high-power, longer-range, lower cost, eye-safe LiDAR solutions for autonomous trains, planes and automobiles.
“SemiNex invested 3 years in research & development to create a long-range and cost-effective solution to overcome the short-range limitations of existing technologies. We see this as a major game changer and believe it will revolutionize the way major LiDAR companies approach this challenge,” said David Bean, CEO of SemiNex Corporation.
The new SemiNex multi-junction laser diode enables eye-safe, autonomous LiDAR systems to reach greater than 250 meters without compromise. Present solutions limit visibility to 100 meters, requiring a vehicles speed to be at 25 mph or less. For the past ten years LiDAR manufacturers have taken two laser approaches for time-of-flight LiDAR systems: 905nm laser diodes or 1550nm fiber lasers. The 905nm laser diodes suffer from limited range due to eye-safety regulations and the 1550nm fiber lasers are impractical for mass market deployment because of their size and cost. Until now, there was no solution that offered the low-cost, small size, and efficiency of 905nm laser diodes with the eye-safety and extended range of 1550nm fiber lasers.
Neither of these past approaches meet the automotive industry goals to enable LIDAR commercialization. The lack of efficient and inexpensive 200 meter eye-safe LiDAR has held back the industry from commercializing autonomous vehicles and seeing any meaningful mass-market deployment at speeds greater than 25 mph. “The SemiNex multi-junction laser diode changes everything,” states Ed McIntyre, SemiNex Director of Sales & Marketing. “Now there is a low-cost, long-range, eye-safe alternative to 9XXnm diodes and 1550nm fiber lasers.”
Today, the LiDAR market for automotive and industrial applications is expected to be $981 million and limited to short range applications. However, with improvements in technology and broader acceptance, the market is expected to grow to $2.8 billion by 2025. A major challenge with the existing LiDAR technology for autonomous vehicles has been to find a cost-effective semi-conductor laser diode that can provide high peak power at eye-safe wavelengths for long range applications. Operating at 1550nm, the SemiNex triple junction device provides 3X the peak power of a single emitter thus improving the resolution and penetration effectiveness in bad weather while remaining eye-safe. It can be operated at pulse widths between 2ns and 100ns at 200kHz to 400kHz pulse repetition rate. SemiNex offers multi-junction devices between 1310nm and 1550nm at various aperture widths and cavity lengths to meet specific customer requirements.
“The SemiNex multi-junction laser diodes will allow vehicles to autonomously navigate at higher speeds that can’t be achieved with the existing technology; this could finally enable driverless cars to be a reality within the next 5 years,” suggests McIntyre.
The multi-junction device is available in double and triple junction configurations in various packaging and submount configurations. Samples in either TO-9 or bare die configuration at 1550nm are available for immediate delivery.
For more information visit www.seminex.com or visit us at CIOE trade show in Shenzhen, China, September 11th– 13th Booth #2D80. To schedule a meeting with Hanyu Yang, our Applications Engineer, click here.