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SONY Unit to Unveil Sensor for Automotive LiDAR Applications

SONY's latest sensor contributes to the future of safe mobility by improving automotive LiDAR detection.

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Sony Group Corp.’s SONY subsidiary, Sony Semiconductor Solutions, has announced the launch of the IMX459 loaded single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) depth sensor for automotive LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) applications using the direct Time-of-Flight (dToF) method.

This cutting-edge product contains tiny SPAD pixels and a distance measuring processing circuit on a single chip. The design makes for a compact form factor that delivers high-speed distance measurement.

The latest sensor contributes to the future of safe mobility by improving automotive LiDAR detection, which is indispensable considering the growing popularity of autonomous driving.

Sony’s shares have gained 39.4% in the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 38.7%.

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Apart from sensing devices, LiDAR is becoming more important as a method of high-precision detection and recognition of road conditions and the location of objects.

For LiDAR to penetrate the market, technical hurdles such as further improvements in distance measuring and greater safety regardless of the environment need to be addressed. SPAD pixels are used as a type of detector in a dToF sensor, which measures the distance to an object by detecting the time difference of light emitted from a source until it returns to the sensor.

The product complies with safety standards for automobile applications and the single-chip design contributes to more compact and low-cost LiDAR. It is set to be certified as meeting the requirements of the AEC-Q100 Grade 2 automotive electronic component reliability tests.

Sony has developed a mechanical scanning LiDAR reference design with this product, helping customers to save man-hours in the LiDAR development process. Sony Semiconductor Solutions has created new markets through innovation. It expects to witness growth in adjacent areas such as automotive cameras and factory automation.

Sony is concentrating on the premium segment of the branded products market to maximize growth. The company’s long-term vision is to achieve a ‘zero environmental footprint’ by 2050 for the entire life cycle of its products and business activities.

The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader sector are Sonos, Inc. SONO, Juniper Networks, Inc. JNPR and Qualcomm, Inc. QCOM. While Sonos and Juniper sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Qualcomm carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Sonos delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 297.3%, on average.

Juniper pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 7.5%, on average.

Qualcomm delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 13.5%, on average.

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