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VIZTA sounds for Vision, Identification, with Z-sensing Technologies and key Applications.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VIZTA (VIZTA sounds for Vision, Identification, with Z-sensing Technologies and key Applications.)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-04-30

The VIZTA project aims to capitalize on and to further develop innovative technologies in the field of optical sensors and sources for short, medium and long-range 3D sensing and to demonstrate their value in 6 key applications.
The key differentiating technologies developed within VIZTA are:
• innovative Silicon single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) technology based on a dedicated 12-inch process and intended for direct Time-of-Flight optical sensors;
• pioneering lock-in pixel technology based on an advanced 12-inch CMOS process and intended for indirect Time-of-Flight optical sensors;
• ground-breaking and cost-effective 12-inch wafer level optics including the development of NIR bandpass thin-film filters, no angle-shift NIR bandpass filters, RGB+Z on-chip filtering.
• complex RGB+Z pixel architectures for multimodal 2D/3D imaging.
• New Hybrid Bonding (wafer stacking) solutions and inspection techniques
For short-range depth map applications, multi-channel VCSEL sources, including wafer-level GaAs optics and associated high-speed driver, will be developed and validated within this project.
For medium and long range automotive LiDARs, VIZTA supports the development of:
• high performance laser sources for medium and long range,
• full solid-state laser beam steering with optical-phased-array for medium range, MEMS micromirrors for long range,
• cost-effective InGaAs photodiodes for long range LiDAR detector.
The developed differentiating technologies serve as a basis for the design of innovative 3D imaging sensors products with the following porotypes demonstrators:
• high resolution Time-of-Flight ranging sensor module with integrated VCSEL, drivers, filters and optics;
• very High resolution (VGA+) depth camera sensor with integrated filters and optics.
The following markets will be directly addressed during VIZTA through 6 applications demonstrators:
• automotive in-cabin with two leading end-users, IEE that benefit from DFKI skills in artificial intelligence, Ficomirrors that will focus on driver monitoring,
• smart building, also targeted by IEE,
• security, with Idemia OEM collaborating with CEA-List that will bring its expertise in neural networks,
• automotive medium-range LiDAR, led by Ibeo with a strong partnership with ST, III-V Lab and CEA-Leti,
• automotive long-range LiDAR, pursued by Veoneer with the support of component integrators (Lumibird, Keopsys Industries and Beamagine) and Polytechnic University of Catalonia,
• industry 4.0 with a demonstrator developed in collaboration between two SMEs, Integrated Systems Development and BCB Informatica, with the support of the Institute of Electronics and Computer Science in Latvia,
• mobile robotics for smart cities, with Eurecat Technology Centre that bring its expertise in robotics.
All WPs have continued globally in line with the Grant Agreement. Within those last 12 months, thanks to all partners efforts, some new results are achieved:
[STMicroelectronics Crolles, Grenoble and Edinburgh sites, in cooperation with CEA-Leti, already designed and fabricated several silicon technology test-chips (new pixels for Z-sensing, new filters and lenses for RGB-Z pixels) with very good characterization results fully completed on the test-chip for Z-sensing pixels. One of these dedicated technologies permitted to prototype innovative 3D-image sensors with unprecedent performance in terms of resolution, speed and consumption. One first prototype of VGA+ resolution 3D-sensor was characterized and deliver to VIZTA partners during this last 12 months with promising preliminary results.
TRUMPF Photonic Components GmbH also achieved characterization of its VCSEL array first prototype and identified the workflow, tools and design improvements for performance optimization
• For future generation of LIDARs, III-V Lab completed the characterization of various high power and high-quality laser diodes sources.
• VEONEER and IBEO, respectively anticipated Long-Range and Medium-Range LIDAR demonstrator integration with their partners.
• CEA-Leti, in cooperation with STMicroelectronics Crolles and Grenoble sites, developed some new variants of Optical Phase Array for laser beam steering with coupling solutions with III-V lab laser sources and started measurement of the previous designs.
• III-V Lab designed and fabricated and tested a first version of InGaAs PIN detector for Long range LiDAR specifications.
All VIZTA application partners have continued to develop the use-cases and the demonstration hardware and software in various key growing sectors: Security, Automotive, Industry 4.0 Smart buildings, Smart Cities. In addition, some partners started preliminary in-field applicative evaluation despite some difficulties linked to Covid-19 sanitary precautions.
In this first 24 months, all results to assess completely progresses and impacts are not yet all available, but the intermediate results obtained so far are showing good positioning versus SoA:
• Silicon Pixels solutions for high resolution and speed: Associated reduced pitch hybrid bonding industrial solutions, Sensitivity combined with low dark noise and low power consumption
• New Sensor S2 with high definition and low power made available within VIZTA
• High efficiency VCSEL array with integrated optics
• New generation OPA with competitive phase delay elements
• Laser sources of high power combined with high purity for OPA compatibility
• Innovative process of micro-mirrors to sustain high power
• High speed InGaAs detector with cost competitive options
• Innovative optics for laser-beam management
Results already available at the device level show some parameters well in line with expectations and some others to be improved with identified actions planned.
Concerning application use-cases including S2 sensor, specific work sessions were organized within WP3 partners to re-assess their value proposition versus market evolution and competition. Such analysis from each partner will be continued along Period3 and already show identified Strategic Advantages for the different applicative demonstrations.
The next Period3 of VIZTA will help to bring VIZTA members in a good situation to provide industrialised answers to key growing application needs in numerous sectors: Biometrics, Security, Automated Driver Assistance and Services using latest Z-sensing technologies deployed for Consumer products.
Several of these applications are anticipated within VIZTA to create synergies between components providers and system/services actors.
VIZTA expected results - well balanced along all the supply-chain from equipment’s to end-users - will have a strong positive impact in 3D-imaging technology adoption by fast growing markets. Many of them being strategic for European industry and societal aspects (Mobility, Security, Energy, Industry 4.0).
After 2-year activity, the VIZTA project and its consortium are fully operational and continue to generate outcomes in Technologies and Applications systems. The deliberate choice to gather complementary industrial actors across the supply-chain from equipment tools up to system OEMs with scientific support from academics and RTOs results in a dynamic collaborative spirit while addressing concrete exploitation targets.
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