High-performance solid-state digital lidar sensor announced
The ES2 lidar sensor, says the company, will be the first true solid-state, high-resolution, long-range digital lidar sensor. With an expected debut price of $600 for automotive production programs with SOP 2024 and over a 200-meter range on a 10% reflective surface, the new sensor is offered as a low-cost option for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and industrial automation.
The ES2 sensor uses “electronic scanning” to sequentially fire an array of over ten thousand lasers printed onto a single chip. The lasers are paired with a custom digital detector array capable of counting trillions of individual photons every second.
These laser and detector arrays, says the company, are the same core technology used in its OS series spinning lidar sensors, as well as numerous consumer devices such as the iPhone and iPad Pro. With tens of thousands of lasers on the chip, each fixed on a different point in the field of view, no moving parts are required to reach the range, field of view, and resolution targets of high-performance autonomy customers.
“Releasing a true solid-state digital lidar sensor is the culmination of a plan Ouster embarked on five years ago to make life-improving lidar technology widely available at a $100 price point,” says Angus Pacala, CEO of Ouster. “The success of our OS line of spinning sensors has proven the many benefits of digital lidar technology and we are now confident in taking the next step with the ES2. The ES2 solid-state sensor is a game changer – a truly solid-state design that leverages standard CMOS manufacturing. This is how you build a solid-state lidar sensor that can disrupt the market.”
The ES2 solid-state sensor will be built on the same high-volume production line already operating at the company’s overseas manufacturing facility. Development of the sensor is underway at the company’s San Francisco headquarters, and samples of the product are expected to be delivered to key customers and partners in 2022, with volume production expected to start in 2023.
In addition to automotive and ADAS applications, says the company, it also plans to make the ES2 available for key customers in the robotics, industrial automation, and smart infrastructure industries.