ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, today announces the pre-release of the new TARA2000-AUT family of VCSEL (Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser) flood illuminators for automotive applications which are the industry’s first to be qualified to the AEC-Q102 automotive quality standard and the ISO 26262 functional safety standard.
The TARA2000-AUT products are ideal for new optical In-Cabin Sensing (ICS) systems based on 2D NIR imaging or 3D Time-of-Flight sensing which support the next generation of assisted and autonomous driving technologies in vehicles.
In Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) – which track whether the driver is alert and attentive while driving – high optical power distributed over the whole Field of Illumination (FoI) means, that a single TARA2000-AUT illuminator can replace multiple lower-power emitters. This offers automotive OEMs savings in space, component count, and cost. With peak optical output centered at 940nm and a very narrow spectrum, the TARA2000-AUT also makes it easy for automotive OEMs to achieve high immunity to interference by sunlight, improving the monitoring system’s performance and reliability.
The TARA2000-AUT is also available with an ultra-wide FoI to give excellent responsiveness in gesture-sensing applications for use by both the driver and passengers. The wide-FoI version is also suitable for interior monitoring systems, for instance for the detection of passengers who should be wearing a seat belt, or for detection of baby seats and child passengers for automatic airbag adjustment. These systems also help detect children, pets, or objects left behind inside parked cars, a potential cause of serious harm which can be prevented by the implementation of optical interior monitoring.
Firat Sarialtun, In-Cabin Sensing Segment Manager at ams, said that the availability of ams’ high-performance, AEC-Q102-qualified product had finally given automotive OEMs the confidence to switch to the superior VCSEL technology for in-cabin sensing applications.
He said: “Technical evaluation of the optical characteristics of the TARA2000-AUT shows that its high optical power uniformly distributed over the whole FoI gives a high signal-to-noise ratio and provides high image quality, so minimizing the number of illuminators needed for the scene. Our solution’s excellent thermal behavior also ensures stable operation at all temperatures without sacrificing optical power, and eliminating the need for additional cooling measures. By using the TARA2000-AUT, automotive manufacturers can develop in-cabin sensors which perform better at a lower system cost.”
Dependable integrated supply chain
Automotive manufacturers can take assurance from ams’ vertically integrated manufacturing model for VCSEL illuminators, which enables ams to make high-volume production commitments without depending on third parties for key elements of its product. The TARA2000-AUT is a combination of a VCSEL emitter designed and manufactured in-house by ams, and an optical diffusor made with proprietary ams micro-lens array technology, all integrated into a single module.
Matching the micro-optics to suit the characteristics of the VCSEL emitter, the illuminator produces a uniform beam with edge-to-edge high-power illumination over a rectangular field. This tightly controlled illumination profile and FoI match the field of view of the IR image sensors used in 2D and 3D systems, so increasing the strength and integrity of the reflected optical signal.
Range of product options
The TARA2000-AUT family of illuminators offers two wavelength options:
- 850nm for systems requiring maximum sensitivity at the CMOS image sensors
- 940nm to avoid visible red glow and interference from sunlight
Depending on the wavelength of choice, TARA2000-AUT is available with an ultra-narrow, narrow, or ultra-wide FoI.
The TARA2000-AUT flood illuminators are available for sampling now. For sample requests or more technical information, go to https://ams.com/TARA2000-AUT.