ActLight offers dynamic SPAD for lidar

February 12, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
ActLight offers dynamic SPAD for lidar
ActLight SA (Launsanne, Switzerland), developer of CMOS photonics, has announced the availability of stand-alone dynamic photodiodes (DPDs) to custom specifications.

ActLight has been working on dynamic photodiode technology since its foundation in 2010, offering them in the form of IP for use in photoplethysmogram ((PPG) heart-rate monitors (see Swiss startup claims low power PPG plus ToF sensor). The dynamic nature of the ActLight photodiode also provides possibilities for use in time-of-flight sensing.

The tunability of the ActLight DPD means it can be used to prevent lidar being blinded by bright ambient light.

Single-photon sensitivity means the DPD is capable of measuring absolute depth in low light but can keep depth measurements accurate in bright light conditions by tuning the photodiode sensitivity to the appropriate level. The tuning is performed by adjusting the bias voltage on the photodiode.

Customers can choose the size of the detector from a 0.2 square millimeter to 1 square centimeter, to fit in applications such as proximity sensing, light barriers, time of flight, vital signs monitoring and others in the industrial, healthcare, automotive and consumer electronic markets.

"The stand-alone dynamic photodiode complements our existing IP portfolio and represents the opportunity for our customers to stretch their market reach and augment their business opportunities with innovative solutions," said Serguei Okhonin, co-founder and CEO at ActLight, in a statement.

The ActLight also has a low-voltage operating mode at 1 to 2V, which makes it suitable for a low-power lidar.

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