Global demand for LiDARs for use in ADAS (advanced driver assistance system), autonomous vehicles, drones and construction engineering is going to take off along with continued improvement in performance and reduction in production cost, according to Taiwan's Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association (PIDA).
The global LiDAR market value will rise from US$844 million in 2019 to US$2.273 billion in 2024 at a CAGR of 18.5%, PIDA indicated.
For automotive application, LiDARs still have issues, including components' sensitivity to vibration, heat and low temperatures, PIDA said. The conventional mechanical swivel design also makes it complicated for production and requires large dimensions, which results in high production costs, PIDA said.
Alternative to mechanical swivel design, other technologies such as optical phase array and 3D flash LiDAR may be able to lead to smaller dimensions and lower production cost, but their developments at at initial stages, PIDA noted.
Germany-based Blickfeld has developed silicon-based MEMS scanning mirrors with a scanning angle of up to 120 degrees for LiDAR solutions, PIDA cited the company as indicating. Such mirrors do not need swivel components and therefore are more durable than LiDARs with mechanical swivel design.
Blickfeld's scanning mirrors exceed 10mm in diameter, which offer a wider field of view and can guide most of the incident light onto optoelectronic sensors, PIDA said.
In order to minimize production cost, Blickfeld adopts a silicon wafer foundry process to make several hundred MEMS devices from a single 8-inch wafer.