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Ouster Launches Chronos, an Automotive Digital Lidar Chip


March 10, 2022

Ouster has announced the introduction of the Chronos chip, an automotive-grade, custom digital lidar silicon receiver that will power its DF solid-state sensor suite. The Chronos chip is the foundation of the DF architecture, and allows Ouster to deliver more power efficient, higher performance and compact digital lidar sensors to enable Level 2 through Level 5 automation in high-volume automotive production vehicles.

Ouster said the Chronos chip harnesses digital lidar architecture and the latest advances in semiconductor technology. The chip is able to deliver improved memory, dynamic range and detection accuracy, Ouster said. As the backbone for its DF series, the chip is designed to meet ASIL-B automotive functional safety requirements according to ISO 26262 and AEC-Q100 automotive qualifications, the company added. It said it expects to integrate the chips into sample units in 2023, with mass-market production starting in 2025.

“Unlike lidar technologies which require the complex integration of numerous off-the-shelf components, our proprietary and cutting-edge digital lidar technology produces simple and powerful sensors that automotive OEMs can trust to achieve new levels of safety and autonomy,” said Iain Levy, vice president of Ouster Automotive. “Ouster Automotive’s Chronos chip represents the latest in SPAD technology, making our solid-state digital lidar sensors highly performant, reliable, power efficient, compact, and easily manufacturable.”

“Since Ouster’s inception, we knew that digital VCSEL/SPAD technology would be the future of lidar and usher in a new era of autonomy across our four industry verticals,” said Mark Frichtl, chief technology officer at Ouster. “We consistently leapfrog current performance with each chip tapeout for our OS sensors, and we are on track to do the same with our DF sensors. We believe our DF sensors powered by the new Chronos chip will be a major catalyst for growth over the coming years, and position us for automotive production program wins.”

For more details on Ouster and its technologies, visit its website here.

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