The era of laser radar technology competition has passed, and various technical routes have been hammered, or MEMS, or Flash, or OPA.
The era of laser radar technology competition has passed, and various technical routes have been hammered, or MEMS, or Flash, or OPA. The next step of competition is just beginning, that is, how to get the laser radar out of the hat of scientific research products and realize the landing of the products.
Unlike traditional players, Silicon Valley Lidar supplier Cepton is unique in its ability to independently develop Micro-motion micro-motion technology, which is different from current mainstream MEMS, Flash and OPA technology paths. With the maturity of Micro-motion micro-motion technology, Cepton has also launched a number of car-level laser radar solutions in the past year.
The new laser radar supplier was founded by a group of veterans who worked in Velodyne and acted “low-key”. Established three years ago, the Cepton team has a scale of more than 70 people. Cepton recently opened an office in the UK, and its UK team will expand to more than a dozen technical solutions experts and engineers in the coming year and accelerate its laser radar business in Europe.
In August last year, Cepton teamed up with Koito (Otaru Manufacturing Co., Ltd.), Japan's largest automotive lighting company, to provide customized micro-laser solutions for the latter, installing the laser radar into the lights. At this stage, both parties are concentrating on the automation of laser radar production and mass production. In the words of Cepton's co-founder and CEO, Jun Jun, "Cepton is already at the forefront of the track on the HPA mass production level."
In 2019, this low-key start-up company launched a number of new face-source laser radar solutions: Vista-M, Vista-X and Vista-Edge Lidar evaluation kits. There is a story behind every product. At the 2019AI+ Intelligent Driving Innovation Summit, the new Zhizhan Dialogue Army learned more about the layout thinking, mass production process and Micro-motion micro-motion technology of the Cepton Lidar solution.
First public Micro-motion technical details
The principle of laser radar technology has become a fixed trend, and it has not changed much since its invention. Lidar suppliers can't open the gap between laser radar measurement methods and laser wavelengths, or TOF, or 1550nm laser, or 905nm laser.
Lidar measurement: At this stage, 90% of the 60/70 laser radar suppliers worldwide choose TOF for lidar measurement.
Laser wavelength level: 1550nm and 905nm laser are common solutions. Cepton chose a 905nm laser. The raw material of the 905nm laser is mainly silicon, which has been widely used in the automotive and electronics industries, and is more economical. In theory, the 1550nm laser can reach a farther detection range, but the cost of gallium arsenide, the raw material used in its laser emitter, is very high, and it is difficult to fall in the short term, and GaAs materials are also at this stage. It is still necessary to take a while to achieve the car gauge level.
More critical is the lidar imaging technology. This has become the focus of various companies, namely how to create an imaging laser radar to provide 3D images for autonomous driving and other applications.
Qi Jun mentioned that in the early days of Cepton, the team was very interested in the idea of using “mirror scanning”, but its drawback was that the mirror too much affected the scanning speed, and the mirror too small affected the light acceptance. Faced with the difficulty of balancing the size of the mirror area with the scanning speed, Cepton abandoned the model and developed Micro-motion micro-motion technology.