New chip-based beam steering device lays groundwork for smaller, cheaper lidar

Researchers have developed a new chip-based beam steering technology that provides a promising route to small, cost-effective and high-performance lidar systems. Lidar, which uses laser pulses to acquire 3D information about a scene or object, is used in a wide range of applications such as autonomous driving, free-space optical communications, 3D holography, biomedical sensing and virtual reality. Researchers describe their new chip-based optical phased array (OPA) that solves many of the problems that have plagued previous OPA designs.