CEChina, EEWorld: After first unveiling its GeSi sensors in October 2018 and presenting them at IEDM 2018, Artilux formally announces its new Explore Series for wide spectrum 3D sensing. By operating at longer wavelength light than conventional solutions, the new Explore Series delivers exceptional accuracy, reduces the risk of eye damage and minimizes sunlight interference, enabling a consistent outdoor-indoor user experience. The breakthrough is based on a new GeSi technology platform developed by Artilux in cooperation with TSMC.
Through a series of technological breakthroughs, ranging from advanced material, sensor design to system and algorithm, Artilux says it has redefined the performance of 3D sensing. Current 3D sensing technology from other companies usually works at wavelengths less than 1µm, typically 850nm or 940nm. These wavelengths have two major drawbacks: firstly, poor outdoor performance due to interference from sunlight, and secondly a potential risk of irreparably damaging eyesight with misused or malfunctioning lasers, since the human retina can easily absorb laser energy at such wavelengths. Existing attempts to extend the spectrum to wavelengths above 1µm have suffered from poor QE, falling drastically from around 30% at 940nm to 0% for wavelength 1µm and above.
Artilux and TSMC integrate GeSi as the light absorption material with CMOS technology on a silicon wafer. It eliminates existing physics and engineering limitations by significantly increasing QE to 70% at 940nm, as well as further extending the available spectrum up to 1550nm by achieving 50% QE at this wavelength. Combined with modulation frequency at 300 MHz and above, it delivers higher accuracy and better performance in sunlight and greatly reduces the risk of eye damage – all at a competitive price. It is now ready for mass production.
Erik Chen, CEO at Artilux, says “Intelligence is shaped by connecting the dots between experiences originating from how we perceive our surroundings. At Artilux, we believe technology evolution starts with observation, and by exploring and expanding the frontiers of fundamental photonic and sensing technology we can build a more human-centric AI. The Explore Series is named after this pioneering spirit and aims to become the beginning of unleashing the full potential of wide spectrum 3D sensing.“
The new wide spectrum 3D sensing technology will enable numerous new opportunities from short range applications such as 3D facial recognition, with sub-mm depth accuracy in both indoor and outdoor environments, to mid-long-range applications, including augmented reality, security cameras, as well as robotics and autonomous vehicles.
The first wide spectrum 3D ToF image sensors of the new Explore Series, with multiple resolutions and ecosystem partners, will be announced in Q1 2020.
Pictured below is said to be the real 3D image captured by Artilux’s sensor at 1310nm: