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VCSEL photonics for LiDAR applications | Interview with Prof. Fumio Koyama

Ahead of the much-anticipated IS Auto Asia 2019 this September, we spoke to Professor Fumio Koyama, Director - Institute of Innovative Research at Toyko Institute of Technology, to discuss his presentation on VCSEL photonics for LiDAR applications, why this is important industry research and more.

Your presentation is on 'high power VCSEL photonics for LiDAR applications', what can we expect to learn from your talk?

My talk will provide the latest advances of our high power VCSEL with non-mechanical beam steering function. The resolution can be over 500 and the peak power is as high as several watts (potentially over 10 watts). This new device could be used for LiDAR for automated driving systems and 3D imaging inside a car.

Why is this research important in the industry at the moment?

One of the major approaches on VCSEL-based 3D sensing is flas LiDAR, which needs ultra-high power of several tens watts for long-distance LiDAR. Our new approach may offer higher SNR by using high-resolution non-mechanical scanning functions. Also our scanning VCSEL can be used for high-accuracy structured-light 3D sensing for use in face ID and some others.

Where do you think the industry is heading in the next 5 years? Why do you think this?

We can see the importance of solid state, low cost LiDAR for sensor fusion in future automated driving systems. VCSELs may have an important role since they offer destructive technology over conventional semiconductor lasers.

What are you most looking forward to hearing about at IS Auto Asia 2019?

I am looking forward to hearing about the progress of solid state LiDAR at IS Auto Asia 2019.

Professor Koyama is presenting as part of the Road to Autnomous Driving: Next Generation Image Sensors session this September. Other speakers in the session include Dibotics, SiLC Technologies, Trioptics, Velodyne LiDAR and more.


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