Cepton’s new Komodo lidar point cloud processor ASIC chip has successfully achieved production-ready status, and is expected to begin shipping this quarter.
Developed in-house at Cepton’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, the Komodo is a highly integrated custom SoC (System on Chip) designed to maximize the technical advantages of Cepton’s patented lidar architecture to significantly improve point cloud quality, while replacing several merchant silicon devices to dramatically reduce cost. Advantages include:
- Superior performance: the Komodo is multiple times faster than the FPGA and merchant silicon chips it replaces. It features sophisticated digital signal processing, such as filtering and noise reduction, resulting in more accurate range and reflectivity measurements. With a peak throughput of up to 12 million points per second, it significantly enhances point cloud quality for higher resolution, which enables more accurate object detection and tracking at longer distances;
- Minimal power consumption: consuming under one watt, the Komodo is much more efficient than the FPGA and merchant silicon chips. The low power consumption of the Komodo and Iguana ASICs is a key enabler of Cepton lidars’ versatility in vehicle integration for everyday passenger cars;
- 90-per-cent cost reduction compared to the FPGA and merchant silicon chips;
- Small packaging facilitates streamlined electrical and optical design to achieve top-quality 3D images in an ultra-compact package;
- A built-in functional safety monitor that is ISO26262 ASIL-B certified, enhancing the sensors’ automotive-grade reliability for use in passenger cars, and
- Sensor fusion readiness: with multiple camera interfaces and high-speed data channels, the Komodo facilitates lidar/camera data fusion and communication with control units.
The Komodo bolsters Cepton’s strong position in proprietary lidar ASIC chipset development. Their Iguana ASIC, a high-performance single-chip lidar engine for advanced illumination control and detection, has been shipping in Cepton lidar sensors for years now.
The fact that Cepton has decided to produce this ASIC shows their confidenve in the maturity of their point cloud processing. Even if scanning systems remain highly application-specific and therefore expensive, the integration of this chipset will allow a significant cost reduction of Cepton’s lidar family.