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TriEye's SWIR driving sensor under evaluation by Hitachi

20 Jan 2022

Israeli startup has developed CMOS-based short-wave infrared imager for use in low-light and adverse weather conditions.

TriEye, a technology startup based in Tel Aviv, is collaborating with the top-tier automotive parts provider Hitachi Astemo on a novel infrared sensor for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) applications.

The Israeli firm, founded in 2017, recently raised $74 million in venture support from the likes of Intel, Samsung, and Porsche, to help commercialize a short-wave infrared (SWIR) device that can be manufactured using conventional CMOS semiconductor processes - and should therefore much cheaper than indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) equivalents.

The agreement with Hitachi Astemo will see the two companies work together to further enhance the capabilities of ADAS in adverse weather and low-light conditions.

‘SEDAR’ vs lidar
TriEye’s technology is also compatible with a technique it calls “spectrum-enhanced detection and ranging” (SEDAR), claimed to be the automotive industry's first affordable and complete solution capable of producing both high-definition image data and a detailed depth-map.

“The SEDAR was designed to meet the automotive market's requirements and redefine safety standards by enabling perception in all visibility conditions,” stated TriEye, which calls the sensor “Raven” and says that SEDAR is ten times cheaper than current lidar technologies.

Hitachi Astemo, a direct subsidiary of the Japanese industrial giant whose name is an abbreviation of “advanced sustainable technologies for mobility”, will evaluate SEDAR and validate whether it can be easily integrated into its existing ADAS solution to provide 2D and 3D depth information under low-visibility conditions.

John Nunneley, senior VP of design engineering within Hitachi Astemo Americas, said in a joint release:

“Our goal is to continue to work towards improving vehicle safety. And we believe that TriEye's SEDAR can provide autonomous vehicles with ranging and accurate detection capabilities that are needed to increase the safety and operability under all visibility conditions.”

TriEye demonstrated the SEDAR technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) event in Las Vegas earlier this month, where it also claimed an innovation award.

Ziv Livne, chief business officer at TriEye, said: “Together with Hitachi Astemo's expertise in building and deploying complex ADAS systems, we can create a clear and focused path towards vehicle integration, saving lives on the road.”

1350 nm VCSEL integration
Co-founded by CEO Avi Bakal, CTO Uriel Levy, and VP of research and development Omer Kapach, TriEye has previously signed similar collaborations with automation expert Trimble, and Continental Engineering Services.

Speaking in November last year, when the company revealed its $74 million venture funding round, Bakal said: “We are proud to be the first to offer the advantages of SWIR sensing technology to multiple industries at a highly disruptive price point.

“Indeed, we believe SEDAR will change the automotive perception market as we know it today. And this is just the beginning.

“Thanks to the support of our new and existing investors, TriEye is accelerating its growth as we look to become a critical player in smart, safe, reliable, and cost-effective automated vision systems.”

TriEye says that its CMOS-based SWIR sensor technology is the result of more than a decade of nanophotonics research by CTO Levy and colleagues at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

In December, TriEye added that its SWIR device could also be integrated with 1350 nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for short-range sensing applications such as biometrics and industrial automation.

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