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3D sensor for indirect ranging with pulsed laser source

: Bronzi, Danilo; Bellisai, Simone; Villa, Federica; Scarcella, C.; Bahgat Shehata, A.; Tosi, Alberto; Padovini, G.; Zappa, Franco; Tisa, Simone; Durini, Daniel; Weyers, Sascha; Brockherde, Werner


Ebert, Reinhard R. (Ed.) ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications IX : Security + Defence; 24.09.-27.09.2012, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2012 (Proceedings of SPIE 8541)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-9282-1
Paper 85410T
Conference "Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems - Technology and Applications" <9, 2012, Edinburgh>
Fraunhofer IMS ()
complementary metal-oxide semiconductor; photodetector; photon counting; single-photon avalanche photodiode

The growing interest for fast, compact and cost-effective 3D ranging imagers for automotive applications has prompted to explore many different techniques for 3D imaging and to develop new system for this propose. CMOS imagers that exploit phase-resolved techniques provide accurate 3D ranging with no complex optics and are rugged and costeffective. Phase-resolved techniques indirectly measure the round-trip return of the light emitted by a laser and backscattered from a distant target, computing the phase delay between the modulated light and the detected signal. Singlephoton detectors, with their high sensitivity, allow to actively illuminate the scene with a low power excitation (less than 10W with diffused daylight illumination). We report on a 4x4 array of CMOS SPAD (Single Photon Avalanche Diodes) designed in a high-voltage 0.35 µm CMOS technology, for pulsed modulation, in which each pixel computes the phase difference between the laser and the reflected pulse. Each pixel comprises a high-performance 30 µm diameter SPAD, an analog quenching circuit, two 9 bit up-down counters and memories to store data during the readout. The first counter counts the photons detected by the SPAD in a time window synchronous with the laser pulse and integrates the whole echoed signal. The second counter accumulates the number of photon detected in a window shifted with respect to the laser pulse, and acquires only a portion of the reflected signal. The array is readout with a global shutter architecture, using a 100 MHz clock; the maximal frame rate is 3 Mframe/s.