3D sensing enables machines to understand and interact with real-world environments by digitizing features and objects in their environment with the smallest details. With the help of automation and machine learning, 3D sensing is transforming key industries such as automotive, manufacturing and imaging in today’s society. Through its ability to capture real-world objects’ length, width and height with more clarity from a distance, 3D sensing is a game-changer for these and other growth industries.
Applications requiring accurate 3D measurements are increasing and creating new markets for optical 3D sensors. Medical and industrial robotics applications require micrometer to millimeter accuracy from short-range sensors whereas consumer and automotive applications require mm to cm accuracy from longer-range sensors. Technologies used to address the diverse requirements of these applications have been primarily based on manually assembled discrete components from different manufacturing platforms resulting in increased system size and cost as well as limiting their mass production capabilities
3D sensing with coherent light delivers unique advancements in the way that sensors are manufactured, designed and used. Due to its large optical bandwidth and high sensitivity, coherent 3D sensing technology can be tailored to address both high accuracy and long-range applications, making the coherent technology the primary solution to address large market segments of 3D sensing. Furthermore, coherent sensing technology lends itself to NeoPhotonics chip-scale manufacturing that addresses the shortcomings of the current discrete solutions by enabling the integration of application-specific functions in mass-produced photonic integrated circuits (PICs).
Next-generation 3D sensors will use “coherent” technology, which was pioneered by NeoPhotonics for communications networks to greatly increase the range, accuracy, and sensitivity by measuring the phase of the reflected light. 3D Coherent Sensors fabricated using chip-scale manufacturing will reduce costs and enable high volume manufacturing.