Short Courses

SC486 - Optoelectronic Devices for LIDAR and High-BW or 3D Sensing

Monday, 07 March
09:00 - 12:00

Short Course Level:


Martin Zirngibl, II-VI, USA
Cibby Pulikkaseril, Baraja, Australia

Short Course Materials

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Access to Short Course Materials

Access to the short course materials, including the link to join the event on zoom will be available 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start and up to 60 minutes after the scheduled end.

Short Course Description:

This course will give an overview of 3D sensing and LiDAR, both from a technology and application/market point of view. 3D sensing is now ubiquitous in phones and many other consumer applications. We will discuss technology, performance, and application trade-offs and give the workshop participant a sense of where this field is going as well as of what the current industrial and market landscape looks like.

The introduction will be followed by a discussion of the optoelectronic components used in both transmitters and receivers for 3D sensing. Receiver technologies for 3D sensing, such as CMOS or SPAD arrays, APDs, and SPADs will be presented and compared. The core content on optoelectronic devices will focus on vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which are nearly universally the only type of illuminator used in 3D sensing systems, both based on structured light and time of flight.

LiDAR, which is functionally similar to 3D sensing but works over longer ranges, is less ubiquitous today. However, it is anticipated to be a key enabler of various levels of autonomous driving. The workshop will explore the black-box requirements in terms of range, resolution, and scanning speed for autonomous vehicles. Unlike 3D sensing, LiDAR requires laser beam scanning. While the industry has not yet settled on a single approach, various mechanical and nonmechanical approaches have been proposed by the large number of LiDAR-based startups that are chasing the promise of automotive LiDAR. We will examine some of the key properties for automotive LiDAR that are required for it to be effectively deployed at scale and show that every technology selection has a trade-off between cost, reliability, and performance.

The last section of the short course will cover the technology of coherent LiDAR, also known as frequency- modulated constant wave (FMCW) LiDAR. This technology can provide the ultimate performance in terms of sensitivity and range but requires more complex and costly optical subassemblies. Whether FMCW will become an enabler of autonomous vehicles is an open question today; we will give the workshop participant a good sense of its strengths and weaknesses and will make our own best guesses as to what the future holds for FMCW.


Short Course Benefits:

The course is intended to provide the audience with a basic understanding of 3D sensing and LiDAR systems and the application of active optoelectronic components in these systems. It should also give a good overview of the industry, market, and key trends.

Short Course Audience:

The course should benefit participants who are working with 3D sensing and LiDAR systems at all stages of development and production: research, design, engineering, test, specification, purchasing, marketing, and management. Experts in optoelectronic devices are also welcome, as they can learn about the application side of the components. General background and professional experience in electronics and photonics are recommended.

Instructor Biography:

Martin Zirngibl is Chief Technologist, Optoelectronics, at II-VI Incorporated, a global leader in engineered materials and optoelectronic components that develops innovative products for diversified applications in the industrial, optical communications, aerospace & defense, life sciences, semiconductor capital equipment, consumer, and automotive markets. Before his current role, Dr. Zirngibl was CTO of Finisar Corporation, which was acquired by II-VI in 2019. Dr. Zirngibl joined Finisar in 2016 as VP, Fellow for Technology, where he was responsible for strategy for coherent products. Prior to joining Finisar, he held progressive managerial roles at Nokia, Bell Labs, as Director of Optical Networking Research and as Executive Director of Device and Subsystems Research. He joined AT&T Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff. Dr. Zirngibl holds a Ph.D. in physics from the Swiss Institute of Technology, Lausanne, and a diploma in Theoretical Physics from the same institute. He was named a Bell Labs Fellow in 2008. Dr. Zirngibl has published over 100 scientific publications, has filed over 50 patents, and wrote one book chapter.

Cibby Pulikkaseril is the co-founder and CTO at Baraja, an Australian-based startup that invented spectrum-scan LiDAR for fully driverless cars. Previously, he was part of the R&D team at Finisar Australia, developing next-generation optical technologies for optical tests and measurements. Dr. Pulikkaseril holds a Ph.D. from the University of Sydney, where his research focus was microwave photonic signal processing; an M.Eng. from McGill University, Canada, where he developed electro-optic switches; and a B.Sc. from the University of Alberta.