A LIDAR sensor prototype with embedded 14-bit 52 ps resolution ILO-TDC array Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. High resolution light detection and ranging (LIDAR) systems enable rapid imaging and mapping for applications such as autonomous vehicles and robotics. This paper presents a high-resolution LIDAR sensor system-on-a-chip (SoC) prototype containing a 312 pixel channel array with the input time-of-flight resolved by a 321 time-to-digital converter (TDC) array. A low-power avalanche photodiode (APD) receiver front-end with output bit-line sharing allows an array implementation and achieves 22dBm sensitivity. Injection-locked oscillators (ILOs) are utilized in a TDC design to both minimize clock distribution power and improve timing accuracy. An on-chip phase-looked loop calibrates for ILO global PVT variations and ensures reliability over a wide operating range. Fabricated in GP 65nm CMOS, the 14-bit TDC consumes 788W/channel and achieves 52ps resolution over an 830ns full-scale range, 37.2 psrms single-shot precision, 11 psrms channel uniformity, and DNL/INL of 0.56/1.56 LSB, respectively. This electrical characterization projects that the SoC has the potential for 0.78cm ranging precision over a 124m maximum ranging distance. Sensor testing with a pulsed laser and an APD array hybrid-integrated with the CMOS SoC shows a measurement range of over 700ns with a 3.2ns maximum single-shot error.

published proceedings

  • Analog Integrated Circuits and Signal Processing

author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, C., Li, C., Fiorentino, M., & Palermo, S.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Chen, Chih-Yuan||Li, Cheng||Fiorentino, Marco||Palermo, Samuel

publication date

  • March 2018