Electronics360 Editor Peter Brown writes about Omnitron Sensors’ manufacturing collaboration with Silex Microsystems, the world’s leading pure-play MEMS foundry. Omnitron Co-founder & CEO Eric Aguilar positions the two companies’ relationship as “a major step forward for the microelectronics industry,” which “mitigates the manufacturing complexity that has limited the growth of MEMS to date.”
Fix the Optical Subsystem, Fix LiDAR
While extremely promising, today’s optical subsystems for LiDAR remain fragile, large, expensive to build and maintain, overly susceptible to environmental conditions, and inconsistent in their performance. Fortunately, we can reach the full potential of LiDAR by fixing the optical subsystems on which LiDAR systems rely.
With experience that spans core sensor development and systems integration at companies such as Tesla, Argo AI, and Google X Project Wing, Omnitron Sensors Co-founder & CEO Eric Aguilar learned first-hand what automotive integrators need for affordable, reliable, long-range LiDAR systems. Join Eric for his presentation, Fix the Optical Subsystem, Fix LiDAR, on September 21, 2023 at 1:45 p.m. at the 2023 ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo & Conference (September 20-21 in Santa Clara, California).
During his presentation, Eric will review the pros and cons of today’s optical subsystems and will introduce a new, cost-effective MEMS scanning mirror for LiDAR that ticks all the boxes for automotive integrators and manufacturers.
You’ll learn more about:
• The role that the optical subsystem in LiDAR plays in ADAS and autonomous systems
• Automotive industry requirements for optical subsystems for LiDAR
• The top 3 issues with existing optical subsystems for LiDAR—Voice Coil, spinning polygon, Galvo
• The great potential—and challenges—of MEMS mirrors
• The problem-solver: first mass-produced low-cost, rugged, reliable MEMS scanning mirror
Hear from Eric and 70+ other expert speakers exploring key topics around the development and testing of safe autonomous driving and ADAS technologies, including software, AI and deep learning, sensor fusion, virtual environments, verification and validation of autonomous systems, testing and development tools and technologies, real-world word testing and deployment, and standards and regulations.
MEMS IP company works with premier MEMS foundry to commercialize first product
LOS ANGELES—September 7, 2023 — Omnitron Sensors, the pioneer in MEMS sensing technology for high-volume, low-cost markets, today announced that it will work with Silex Microsystems on the manufacture of its microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) scanner for LiDAR.
“We’re seeing massive demand for low-cost and reliable LiDAR from manufacturers of automotive ADAS, drones and other robotic systems,´ said Eric Aguilar, co-founder and CEO, Omnitron Sensors. “Our selection of Silex Microsystems—which is the world’s largest pure-play MEMS foundry—signifies our market-readiness to deliver the first MEMS scanner that meets the accuracy, reliability, size, cost and volume requirements of LiDAR in diverse applications.”
Solving MEMS manufacturing challenges
Manufacturing MEMS devices is notoriously difficult. Problems with size, reliability, durability and repeatability—and the fact that process technology is unique for each new MEMS device—make MEMS manufacturing expensive and slow design-to-delivery cycles. Omnitron’s core IP solves these challenges. As a new topology for MEMS, Omnitron’s IP rearranges manufacturing processes and supports them with new packaging techniques. This speeds volume production of a wide range of small, low-cost, precise MEMS sensors—from scanning mirrors and inertial measurement units (IMUs) to microphones, pressure sensors, and telecom switches.
“Omnitron’s new topology for MEMS—which features the clever rearrangement of silicon process steps and a new packaging method—is a major step forward for the microelectronics industry because it mitigates the manufacturing complexity that has limited the growth of MEMS to date,” said Aguilar. “By leveraging the standard tools and processes already found in the Silex fab, Omnitron clears the way for robust, reliable and affordable MEMS devices that are delivered to market quickly and at high volume.
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About Omnitron Sensors
Founded in 2019 by a core group of MEMS industry innovators, Omnitron Sensors has invented a new topology for MEMS—IP that improves device performance and reliability, and that streamlines assembly to produce MEMS sensors for price-sensitive, high-volume markets. Learn more at https://omnitronsensors.com.
The Omnitron Sensors logo is a registered trademark of Omnitron Sensors. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
Eric Aguilar, Omnitron Sensors
Maria Vetrano, Vetrano Communications
The optical scanner is at the heart of the perception systems we’re increasingly using in cars, in drones, and in virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR)/mixed-reality (MR) headsets. In automotive, we may see a combination of cameras, LiDAR and radar used in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as automatic braking, lane-departure warnings, and collision avoidance. That’s typically the case for autonomous navigation in cars and drones as well. The optical systems in VR/AR/MR headsets feature a display—such as an OLED or LED, and cameras; and one day soon LiDAR may augment or replace those cameras. Whatever their underlying scanning technology, perception systems require micro-optical components that are accurate, reliable, affordable and available in mass-production volumes.
With so many different types of micro-optical components available for perception systems, how can designers choose the best components for their specific applications? As with any important engineering decision, you have to balance what’s most important to your customer.
Chances are, you’re looking for a compelling set of features at an affordable price point.
If you’re designing perception systems for ADAS, autonomous navigation or AR/VR/MR, it’s time to start looking at the next generation of LiDAR sensor. Because the LiDAR of old—fragile, large, expensive, susceptible to environmental conditions, and difficult to maintain—is a thing of the past. Leveraging a new topology for MEMS, Omnitron Sensors is introducing a small, low-cost, rugged and reliable step-scanning sensor for LiDAR. Omnitron’s MEMS step-scanning sensor makes a world of a difference in autonomous navigation—interpreting the real-world physical environment that a car perceives in 3D, not 2D.
And that’s just scanning the surface of what Omnitron Sensors can do. Its next-gen LiDAR sensor perceives the environment accurately in all lighting and weather conditions. It can decipher between stationary and moving objects, is immune to high-vibration and temperature variation, and it’s affordable in mass-production quantities.
Learn more about Omnitron’s MEMS step-scanning sensor for LiDAR at Micro Optics 2023, a virtual conference that takes place August 1-3, 2023.
Omnitron Sensors Co-founder & CEO Eric Aguilar will present “Transforming Optical Scanning: MEMS Topology for Low-Cost, Small, and High-Performance Scanners,” at 12:15 p.m. EDT on August 3, 2023.