Depth sensing solutions: design challenges from device to system integration

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Depth sensing has always been a very dynamic multidisciplinary research field, enabling a variety of applications such as transportation, robotics, consumer, topography, space, and medical imaging. Based on the last decade's technological advances, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is expected to be a game-changer in the autonomous driving sector. Time-of-flight (ToF) is also a powerful technique enabling new capabilities in medical imaging.
In this talk, we will take a deep dive into depth-sensing technologies to understand the challenges from device engineering to system integration. The focus is on the ToF for both light and ultrasonic detection and ranging solutions. Moreover, ToF is compared to the frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) approach.
From the system level perspective, some representative application scenarios involving distance ranging and 3D imaging are discussed. Besides, the involved principles, waveband, and metrics are introduced. Next, the sensing devices are addressed, such as single-photon avalanche-diodes (SPADs), silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs), and piezoelectric micromachined ultrasonic transducers (pMUTs). The design parameters and their impact on the overall performance of the system are analyzed. Moreover, the technology challenges involved by the application-driven system-level requirements are discussed as well. This leads to the next part of the talk dedicated to the optical path in the depth-ranging systems. The emphasis is on beamforming and beam steering techniques. The impact of Si photonics on the next generation of LiDAR is also tackled. Next, the focus of the presentation will change on the main building blocks with particular emphasis on time-to-digital converters (TDC) for direct ToF measurement. The last topic addresses data processing requirements for high-performance LiDAR systems.
This talk is concluded with the identification of some application-driven research directions and their challenges towards monolithic depth-sensing systems.
Period14 Jan 2022
Event titleSelected topics of advanced analog chip design
Event typeSeminar
LocationGraz, Austria