Tower begins making image sensor-processors for lidar

May 09, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Migdal Haemek, Israel) has started manufacturing CMOS image sensors for Newsight Imaging Ltd. (Ness Ziona, Israel) for lidar used in ADAS and autonomous vehicles.

The custom chips and camera modules can also be used for drones and autonomous home appliance robots, Tower said. The ensemble combines sensors, digital algorithms and the pixel array on the same chip manufactured by Tower in a 180nm process technology.

IHS-Markit estimates the automotive lidar semiconductor market will reach $1.8 billion by 2026, with 37 percent compound annual growth rate over the period 2018 to 2026.

Newsight's products include the NSI3000 sensor family already in mass production with eight rows of 2048 pixels made of four rows of 4 micron by 8 micron pixels and four rows of 4 micron by 4 micron pixels. The NSI5000 is based on an enhanced time-of-flight  technique that bridges indirect time of flight for short distance measurement and long-distance measurement as required by automotive. It has on-chip processing and memories to enable tailoring of the chip for specific applications. The NSI5000 chip includes logic for control, and synchronizing with a laser system, providing control signals, capturing reflected beam and calculating distance. An on-chip DSP is used to support laser range-finding calculations, machine vision parameters and 3D analysis.

Related links and articles:

www.towersemi.com

www.nstimg.com

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