Allegro buys lidar specialist Voxtel

Allegro buys lidar specialist Voxtel

Business news |
By Ally Winning

The takeover enables Allegro to bolster its ADAS automotive lidar system development with Voxtel’s significant laser and imaging expertise. 

Voxtel has been pioneering photonics since 1999, developing high-end solutions for military, space, automotive and surveillance applications. Its miniature lasers, read-out integrated circuits (ROICs), and near-infrared (NIR) and short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) photodetectors, are said to represent one of the broadest lidar photonic technology suites available in the market today. This claim is supported by the more than 38 US patents the company is holding.

Allegro’s portfolio, when combined with photonics, provides most of the key semiconductor components in the transmit and receive blocks of automotive lidar systems. Allegro expects that this will increase its foothold in future automotive electronics markets.

Historically, a barrier to broad adoption of lidar technology in vehicles has been the restriction of maximum power output of the laser in order to comply with eye safety guidelines. As a result of this acquisition, Allegro’s photonics portfolio now includes devices made in silicon and InGaAs, providing components for both eye-safe, long-range 1D or 2D scanned front-facing lidar and side- or rear-facing Flash lidar. Devices based on InGaAs operate at wavelengths at which the human eye is less sensitive (1500 – 1600nm), enabling higher laser power levels for longer range object detection beyond 200 meters.

Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Voxtel, Inc. was founded in 1999.  For almost two decades, Voxtel has maintained a focus on innovating laser ranging, LADAR, and lidar technologies, becoming a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of innovative photonic and advanced 3D imaging technologies. Voxtel’s product portfolio includes eye-safe lasers; time-of-flight (TOF) ROICs; and single-pixel, 1D, and 2D photodetectors fabricated in both silicon and InGaAs.

Voxtel’s President and CEO, George M. Williams Jr., will become Allegro MicroSystems’ Photonics Fellow.

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