Palais de la Musique et des Congrès
Strasbourg, France
9 - 12 September 2019
Industry Events
CMOS-Compatible Integrated Photonics and Image Sensor Technology for LiDAR and Beyond
Date: Tuesday 10 September 2019
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Location: Exhibition Hall, Industry Stage
Advances in CMOS chip technologies, integrated silicon photonics and integrated sensing solutions pave the way towards more compact, cost-efficient and performant sensing solutions for lidar and remote sensing applications. In this session, imec will share its latest advancements and breakthroughs in the field of optical beamforming and novel image sensor technologies.

Session Chair: Xavier Rottenberg
Scientific Director and Group Leader Wave-based Sensors and Actuators, imec (Belgium)


14:00 to 14:25

Xavier Rottenberg
Scientific Director and Group Leader Wave-based Sensors and Actuators, imec (Belgium)

Optical beamforming for applications beyond telecom

Optical (on-chip) telecommunication has led to the development of ever more mature, mainly Si-based, integrated photonic technology platforms. This session introduces a targeted diversion of these platforms to enable wave-based sensing and actuation in the (quasi-)optical domain and in particular optical beamforming for lidar or THz radar, that redefine the typical trade-offs between form factor, performance and price point.

14:25 to 14:50

Philippe Soussan
Program Director Optical Beam Forming Technologies, Sense & Actuate, imec (Belgium)

Current and future photonics technologies for optical beamforming manufacturing

The advent of new systems that build on low-cost light manipulation has generated very large interest in the industry with recent interest in lidar, wireless data communication, Augmented &Virtual reality and other related applications. On the one hand, the classical opto-electronic approaches that rely on free-space optics, show high power efficiency, at the expense of not being scalable in size volume at reasonable cost. On the other hand, silicon photonics technologies have gained momentum, pushed by the datacom industry. Such platforms have proven to be very efficient for high-speed transceivers and benefit from the semiconductor manufacturing technologies. When it comes to optical beamforming (OBF), integrated photonics and optical phased arrays (OPA) prove to be a suitable approach for low beam divergence and truly random space addressing.
The current limitations of such architectures in terms of power consumption, power handling and optical losses are gradually being addressed by integrating new materials into the semiconductor manufacturing platforms, with the promise of delivering a single-chip solution for light generation, steering and sensing. In this presentation we will review the current and future OBF photonic technologies. Specific attention will be given to the choice of photonic materials and integration of the waveguide, phase shifters and laser integration, which are at the heart of such photonic chips. We will show what kind of beam can be manipulated nowadays and show that it will be possible to produce low-cost beamformers with a low divergence beam (<0.02°), low static power consumption (<0.1W), high scanning rate (1MHz) and low optical loss (<7dB).

14:50 to 15:15

Marcus Dahlem
Principal Member of the Technical Staff, imec (Belgium)

Optical phased arrays for enabling solid-state lidar systems

The fast development of autonomous vehicles and robotics is pushing the envelope of R&D in low-cost compact solid-state Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems. The technology is also used in land surveying, and has potential applications in space, security and defense.

A LiDAR provides 3D machine vision by mapping out the surrounding environment, providing information on location, direction and velocity of objects within its range. An imaging system consisting of Lidar, mm-wave Radar, Gated Imagers with sensor fusion and perception algorithms can provide the high resolution and dynamic range 3D imaging performance, required for enabling autonomous vehicles. The presentation will set the stage by providing an overview of such broader modeling, and simulation tools and imaging systems that are being developed at the Camera Systems and Computational Imaging group in Imec, and a summary of the latest research results.

One important building block in most current LiDAR systems is the optical beam scanner, which is used to illuminate the scene or target being monitored and/or collect the reflected light signal for detection and further processing. Most existing LiDAR solutions rely on mechanical beam steering devices, making them bulky and expensive. For a wide implementation of such technology in autonomous vehicles, future LiDAR systems will have to move towards more compact, cheaper and non-mechanical beamformers. In this talk, we present an overview of automotive LiDAR systems, as well as imec’s recent work on chip-level beamformers (Si/SiN platform) based on optical phased arrays (OPAs). OPAs with up to a few thousand emitters (here, leaky wave antennas), typically spaced by a few microns, result in large apertures that form narrow far-field beams. 2D beam steering is achieved by thermal phase shifting and/or wavelength tuning, with grating-free steering angles of a few 10s of degrees.

Coffee Break: 15:15 to 15:40

15:40 to 16:05

Jon Øyvind Kjellman
R&D Engineer, imec (Belgium)

Architectures and calibration techniques for optical beam formers

Several architectures can be used to realize optical beam formers. One of the most common architectures is optical phased arrays and an analysis of the impact of phase errors on beam quality will be presented. The undesirable effects of phase errors can be mitigated partially by choosing the right waveguide materials. Remaining phase errors can be compensated for by either on-chip or off-chip calibration. Implementations of such calibration schemes and their advantages and disadvantages will be discussed.

16:05 to 16:30

Stefano Guerrieri
Program Director Pixel Technology, imec (Belgium)

Novel pixel and CMOS image sensor technology for remote sensing and beyond

Imec has unique expertise in the development of pixel technologies as well as CMOS image sensors beyond standard solutions. From industrial inspection to aerial photogrammetry, security to spectroscopy, medical fluorescence to astronomy, imec’s CMOS imaging innovations allow its partners unprecedented capabilities, enabling new discoveries and providing competitive advantage. Based on its technology platforms and extensive know-how, imec can develop pixels with non-silicon materials as well as fully customized CMOS imagers in design and process to realize the customer’s specifications. Imec is not only capable of developing new technologies, but can also support customers all the way to low-volume manufacturing. Several technologies will be presented. These range from imec’s CCD-in-CMOS low-noise line scan for satellite- or drone-based earth observations, to imec’s VGA camera that uses thin-film pixel technology to enable affordable, high-resolution and uncooled IR imagers. In addition, fab-compatible novel pixel technologies for SWIR imagers as well as advanced pixels for 3D ranging will be presented.

Adjourn: 16:30
Commercialization of Quantum Technologies
Date: Wednesday 11 September 2019
Time: 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Exhibition Hall, Industry Stage
The global quantum technology enabled high-tech market is expected to exceed $40 billion by 2044 as quantum-technology based solutions emerge in areas like imaging, secure communications, navigation, and timekeeping to name a few. This potential is attracting huge investment from both government and commercial entities. The goal of this session is to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with commercialization of quantum-based solutions.


13:30 to 13:55

Thierry Robin
Partner, TEMATYS (France)

Quantum technologies: current and potential applications and markets

Developments in the emerging field of quantum technology will drive major advances in sensing, imaging, communications and computing, creating new opportunities in photonics. As a result, governments and industry worldwide are currently aligning their funding programs to catch up in the race for quantum technologies leadership and many quantum technology start-ups are also emerging. This presentation will summarize a new report on the potential future economic impact of these quantum technologies. Applications segments and opportunities are covered with analysis of the potential markets and main challenges to be addressed in the next few years. Specific areas discussed include quantum sensing and imaging technologies, which achieve improved sensitivity, accuracy and/or resolution compared to products based on classical physics; and quantum communication and cryptography technologies, which generate and distribute encryption keys to safeguard the transmission of data over optical networks.

13:55 to 14:20

Niccolo Somaschi
CTO, Quandela (France)

Efficient solid-state quantum light sources for quantum technologies

Quantum light is at the heart of quantum technologies, be it for developing secure quantum communication networks or to develop quantum processors that are naturally interconnected. More specifically, the possibility to generate and manipulate entangled photon states represents a powerful tool for the development of large scale secure quantum networks and other instruments of strategic importance for defence and security, like radars, lidars and detection systems with quantum enhanced sensitivity and resolution.
Quandela commercialises single photon sources providing a ten times efficiency improvement for each quantum bit as compared to previous technologies, allowing for the generation of large ensembles of entangled photons. This disruptive technology, born from two decades of fundamental research at the French national laboratory (CNRS), relies on well-established semiconductor processing and allows scaling up of optical quantum technologies.

14:20 to 14:45

Joseph Thom
Scientist, M Squared Lasers Limited (United Kingdom)

Quantum sensors for navigation and gravimetry

Quantum sensors based on atom interferometry are set to significantly enhance the precision and accuracy of measurement applications such as gravimetry and inertial navigation. Whilst laboratory-based interferometers have been demonstrated with very high sensitives, our work is focused on engineering sensing devices that will be suitable for field applications. In this talk I will describe M Squared’s suite of quantum sensing systems, with a focus on how these are being prepared for deployment in real world environments.
Our quantum sensors benefit from the high power and low noise of M Squared's SolsTiS laser platform. I will conclude by describing how, further to its use in our own integrated quantum sensors, the SolsTiS is also enabling the advancement of some of the world’s leading efforts in quantum computing and optical atomic clocks.
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