Insight LiDAR announced the development of Digital Coherent LiDAR, a chip-scale, long-range LiDAR sensor targeted at the emerging autonomous vehicle market. Insight’s Digital Coherent LiDAR is based on Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) technology offering several unique advantages over the current generation of Time-of-Flight (ToF) LiDAR sensors.

Insight’s Digital Coherent LiDAR was developed based on more sensitive FMCW detection techniques and software-programmable waveforms that have been used in FMCW radar for over 40 years. Insight LiDAR’s FMCW sensor offers 10-100x higher sensitivity than Time-of-Flight LiDAR while simultaneously offering direct Doppler velocity measurement. The higher sensitivity, enabled by FMCW detection, drives Digital Coherent LiDAR’s long-range capability; 200 m to dim (<10 percent reflectivity) objects like car tires, and 250 m or more to vehicle bodies, trees, and other obstacles.

Direct Doppler velocity measurement enables much faster recognition and classification of objects, especially critical for safe L4 and 5 autonomous vehicle operations.

Digital Coherent LiDAR is further enhanced by Insight’s proprietary true fast-axis scan architecture. This unique feature enables Insight LiDAR to both precisely steer the beam and encrypt the critical fast-scan axis through software alone, with no moving parts.