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On Semiconductor acquires SensL for lidar sensing tech

On Semiconductor has acquired SensL Technologies, a producer of silicon photomultipliers (SiPM), single photon avalanche diodes (SPAD) and lidar sensing products.

The acquisition, which is expected to be immediately accretive to On Semiconductor's non-GAAP earnings per share, will extend On Semiconductor's product portfolio for automotive sensing applications - for ADAS and autonomous driving.

Based in Ireland, SensL’s SPADs and SiPM detectors are designed for long-range lidar, with the company claiming they will allow lidar systems to operate at a range of 200 metres or more. SensL’s R-series of SiPMs can detect 10 per cent of the photons returning at 905nm – ‘that’s market leading’, Wade Appelman, VP sales and marketing at SensL, commented during the Image Sensors conference in London in March.

On Semiconductor has previously acquired radar technology and design centres in Israel and United Kingdom to provide a set of sensor solutions for autonomous vehicles. In the second half of 2018, On Semiconductor is planning to introduce samples to the market which incorporate technology from the radar assets acquired in 2017.

‘The entire SensL team, founded by Carl Jackson and led by Bryan Campbell, have done a great job in bringing SiPMs to market and we look forward to expanding their market success and continuing their product portfolio in lidar, medical imaging and radiation detection,’ said Taner Ozcelik, senior vice president and general manager at On Semiconductor’s image sensor group. ‘The automotive sensor fusion demand is growing at an accelerated pace with a need for additional sensor technologies that are provided by the SensL team.’

The SensL team will report directly into the On Semiconductor’s image sensor group. The team is located in Cork, Ireland with bases in the United States, UK, Japan, India, Israel, and Ireland.

SensL’s technology is based on CMOS, which provides the economies of scale for cost-effective solid state lidar solutions. These depth sensing technologies also enable advances in industrial robotics, machine vision, drones as well as mobile and other consumer applications.

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