Stanley Electric. (Headquarters 2-9-13 Nakameguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President and Representative Director: Yutaka Hiratsuka) announced that it has started mass production and shipment of a high-power infrared VCSEL*1 (hereafter referred to as “this product”) that complies with the automotive quality standard AEC-Q102*2. This shipment will be delivered to our customer for the world’s first in-vehicle sensing device using an infrared VCSEL. We are also pleased to announce that this product has been made possible through our partnership with Lumentum, a global leader in design and manufacturing of high-performance infrared VCSEL arrays.
*1 VCSEL: Abbreviation for Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser
*2 AEC-Q102: A standard for the reliability of opto-semiconductor devices established by the Automotive Electronics Council.
■ Comment from Lumentum
“We are excited to partner with Stanley to offer new and differentiated optical solutions at a time when the automotive industry is increasingly turning to in-cabin optical sensing to improve functionality and safety,” said Jenny Kim, Product Line Manager for 3D Sensing at Lumentum. “Combining Stanley’s automotive qualified packages with our innovative products and proven manufacturing, where we have shipped more than one billion infrared VCSEL arrays with zero-field failures, allow us to deliver compelling solutions for automotive customers who require next-generation optical sensing technologies.”
■ Market trends
Infrared sensors have been used for a long time in a variety of applications, but in recent years their performance has rapidly increased. The use of Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS*3) to prevent driver-caused traffic accidents as part of ADAS*4 is increasing, and Occupant Monitoring Systems (OMS*5) to reduce the risk to passengers inside the vehicle are also becoming more common. Our infrared LEDs are used in many of these applications. In the future, the increasing sophistication of automated driving and ADAS will require even higher performance sensing, creating new areas that cannot be achieved with the infrared LEDs that have been used to date.
Our infrared VCSELs, for example, can be used by themselves to deliver a uniform, high-power infrared beam to all corners of the camera’s field of view. This enables the system to read even the slightest changes in the driver’s gaze or facial expression, and to detect people anywhere in the cabin without missing a beat. In addition, it is possible to use pulsed light (a method of driving a light to turn on and off continuously) at a higher speed than LEDs, and this characteristic can be used to sense 3D information such as distance and shape using a TOF camera or LiDAR.
By offering this infrared VCSEL to customers around the world as a new infrared light source that takes advantage of our strengths in light source control technology and automotive device manufacturing technology, we will contribute to the realization of even more advanced infrared sensing in the future.
*3 DMS: Driver status monitoring function
*4 ADAS: Abbreviation for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
*5 OMS: Occupant monitoring function, infant left behind prevention function (Child Presence Detection), etc.