Originally developed for military use in the 1960’s, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technologies are now being used for medical, agricultural, environmental, civil engineering, space exploration and automotive applications. The adoption of LiDAR for autonomous driving is likely to be the first widespread commercial use for LiDAR. Coherent LiDAR systems measure both the phase and amplitude of the return signal, allowing for the measurement of both the distance and velocity of an object simultaneously, making it an ideal candidate for autonomous driving applications. In gaining such widespread adoption, size, weight and cost of such systems must be significantly decreased. One way to achieve such benefits is to leverage the advantages of integrated photonics.
Provided the great variety of the LiDAR design approaches and technologies, the software tools need to be flexible in simulating them, supporting multiple existing solutions, and interfacing between different third-party tools. At the same time, the need for high volume manufacturing and growing complexity of photonics integrated circuits (PIC) both require specific design and simulation solutions for PIC-based devices.
In this industry tutorial, you will learn how to streamline the design process using VPIphotonics Design Suite considering a Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) LiDAR system. We will discuss how to predict and simulate the design constraints of such systems. Particularly, we will discuss the impact of the residual nonlinearity of the integrated tunable laser and how digital predistortion could help to mitigate this effect.