A Sub-Centimeter Ranging Precision LIDAR Sensor Prototype Based on ILO-TDC
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This thesis introduces a high-resolution light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensor system-on-a-chip (SoC) that performs sub-centimeter ranging precision and maximally 124-meter ranging distance. With off-chip connected avalanche photodiodes (APDs), the time-of-flight (ToF) are resolved through 31×1 time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) channels. Embedded time-to-digital converters (TDCs) support 52-ps time resolution and 14-bit dynamic range. A novel injection-locked oscillator (ILO) based TDC are proposed to minimize the power of fine TDC clock distribution, and improve time precision. The global PVT variation among ILO clock distribution is calibrated by an on-chip phase-looked-loop (PLL) that assures a reliable counting performance over wide operating range. The proposed LIDAR sensor is designed, fabricated, and tested in the 65nm CMOS technology. Whole SoC consumes 37mW and each TDC channel consumes 788μW at nominal operation. The proposed TDC design achieved single-shot precision of 38.5 ps, channel uniformity of 14 ps, and DNL/INL of 0.56/1.56 LSB, respectively. The performance of proposed ILO-TDC makes it an excellent candidate for global counting TCSPC in automotive LIDAR.
Chen, Chih-Yuan (2016). A Sub-Centimeter Ranging Precision LIDAR Sensor Prototype Based on ILO-TDC. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from