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Velodyne LiDAR announces new design for miniaturized, low-cost solid-state LiDAR sensors using GaN technology

Velodyne LiDAR announced a new design for a solid-state LiDAR sensor that can deliver a subsystem cost of less than US$50 when sold in high-volume manufacturing scale. The technology will impact the proliferation of LiDAR sensors in multiple industry sectors, including autonomous vehicles, ridesharing, 3D mapping, and drones.

LiDAR sensors that leverage this new design will be less expensive, easier to integrate due to their smaller size, and more reliable as a result of fewer moving parts. The technology can also be integrated in Velodyne LiDAR’s existing Puck form factors.

Our new design approach creates a true solid-state LiDAR sensor, while significantly raising the bar as to what can be expected from LiDAR sensors as far as cost, size, and reliability. Together with our customers and partners, we strive to create a world where LiDAR sensors increase safety and freedom for people everywhere, and this new design is a huge step in that direction.

—David Hall, founder and CEO, Velodyne LiDAR

Velodyne LiDAR’s new approach to the development of solid-state LiDAR sensors reflects the application of a monolithic gallium nitride (GaN) integrated circuit, developed in partnership with Efficient Power Conversion (EPC). The design consolidates components and results in significant advances in sensor miniaturization, reliability, and cost reduction. Each integrated circuit is less than 4mm square.

As LiDAR technology continues to gain widespread adoption, GaN technology brings higher performance resulting in higher image resolution, all while offering enhanced integration of key functions that ultimately lead to reduced overall cost for LiDAR-based system solutions.

—Dr. Alex Lidow, CEO and co-founder of EPC

This technology really opens the door to miniaturization and gives Velodyne the ability to build LiDARs in various form factors for many diverse applications. We will soon have a portfolio of integrated circuits to address various aspects of LiDAR functionality, paving the way to a whole new generation of reliable, miniaturized, and cost-competitive LiDAR products.

—Anand Gopalan, Vice President of Research & Development, Velodyne LiDAR

Velodyne LiDAR’s design is currently being tested and integrated into future products, and a release date announcement will be made in 2017.



Multiple improved much lower cost sensors and faster dual onboard computers and appropriate software upgrades will enhance future ADVs performance. Will it be enough for SAFE all weather driverless vehicles by 2025 or so?


There may be lots of driver assist,
but the day when a driverless taxi comes to pick you up may be many years away.

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