Rockley Photonics Demonstrates Coherent Sensing Capabilities for its Integrated Optics Platform

3D Imaging Automotive

Optically integrated coherent LiDAR at 1550nm provides the features and benefits automotive OEMs desire, including: solid-state scalability, low-cost, high sensitivity, and eye safety. Image credit: metamorworks/

• Coherent technology improves sensitivity, increases range and accuracy and adds the velocity dimension to 3D imaging and sensing.
• Integrated optics brings scalable low-cost and low-power benefits to Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) LiDAR, spectroscopy, and other types of sensor applications for use across many markets including automotive and healthcare.

Oxford, UK, 17 June 2019 – Rockley Photonics, a leading integrated optics solutions provider, has unveiled the strength of its coherent sensing capabilities in its silicon photonics platform. At Sensors Expo 2019, Rockley is inviting guests to interact with a live testbed demonstrating Rockley’s coherent laser advantage with FMCW LiDAR.

Integrated optical coherent sensor technology brings miniaturization, high sensitivity, eye safety and scalability to the fields of LiDAR, spectroscopy and other sensor applications and is broadly considered enabling for advancements in a wide range of markets from automotive to healthcare.

The LiDAR market alone is estimated to be worth over US$6 billion by 2024, with demand growing rapidly in advanced automotive safety systems (ADAS), vehicle autonomy and industrial machine vision. Its use, however, is currently limited in price-sensitive markets because of the high cost and the precise manufacturing tolerances required.

Andrew Rickman, chief executive of Rockley explains: “Rockley’s unique silicon photonics platform is ideally suited to solving the challenges faced by today’s widely used LiDAR technologies. Our platform provides the scalability to enable the low cost required to bring LiDAR imaging and other advanced sensing solutions into the mainstream.”

Additionally, in an FMCW LiDAR system, only a single acquisition of data is required for coherent technology to measure accurate target velocity – a capability unachievable with most LiDARs in use today and an enormous benefit to achieve full autonomy.

Rickman continued, “We are well aware that integration is key to achieving volume scaling and low costs. Our wafer-scale platform provides all the elements for fully integrated optical solutions including: multi-beam lasers, ‘photon-optimized’ high-power handling waveguides and sensitive balanced detectors – a unique combination of features in the silicon photonics industry that can deliver the specifications the automotive OEMs desire.”

Rockley’s highly versatile silicon photonics platform can deliver coherent sensor capabilities that are uniquely suited to the LiDAR and broader 3D imaging markets as well as many other sensing applications. Working with its tier-1 development partners in multiple verticals, Rockley is poised to insert integrated optics into new products. Its technology will disrupt markets by improving performance, adding additional capabilities, lowering costs and providing much needed scalability.

About Rockley Photonics
Rockley Photonics was formed in 2013 by an experienced management team, previously successful with two silicon photonics companies. Rockley Photonics has developed a highly versatile, third-generation silicon photonics platform specifically designed for the optical I/O challenges facing next generation sensor systems and communications networks. Rockley’s photonic technology platform was developed with a total focus on high volume manufacture of highly integrated optical/electronic devices for high performance applications. The technology platform, exploiting optimized waveguide dimensions, offers significant benefits over conventional solutions. These benefits include the production of higher density optical circuits, the ability to create more complex integration, better manufacturing tolerances, superior power handling, lower loss and higher efficiency photonic IC interfaces. In summary, Rockley Photonics’ technology can be adapted to be application specific, whilst simplifying manufacturing, assembly, test and validation, and optimizing power, size and cost of complex optical systems. Rockley’s founder, Andrew Rickman, is recognized across the industry for his technical and commercial success in silicon photonics. Andrew founded the first company to commercialize silicon photonics, Bookham Technology. Bookham had a successful IPO in 2000, became Oclaro in 2009 and is now a part of Lumentum. He later became the chairman of Kotura which was successfully sold to Mellanox in 2013.