Electronics and Semiconductors

TI unveils first ultrasonic lens cleaning chipset

18 January 2023

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced what it claims is the first ultrasonic lens cleaning (ULC) technology that allows camera systems to quickly detect and remove dirt, ice and water using microscopic vibrations.

The chipset includes TI’s ULC1001 digital signal processor (DSP) and companion DRV2901 piezo transducer driver that allows cameras to rapidly self-clean contaminants using controlled vibrations that eliminates debris. This improves system accuracy and reduces maintenance requirements, TI said.

The chipset works with a wide range of applications and camera sizes including those in automotive and traffic cameras for smart cities and manufacturing. Additionally, TI said the chipset’s small form factor makes it possible to improve machine vision and sensing in applications where a camera or sensor might get dirty.

The chipset eliminates the need for complex mechanical parts and human intervention in lens cleaning systems. The cleaning DSP with algorithms integrates a pulse-width modulator, current- and voltage-sense amplifiers and an analog-to-digital converter.

With the DRV2901 piezo transducer driver, the chipsets enable ULCs in a footprint with a printed circuit board size less than 25 mm by 15 mm. This will reduce the bill of materials while providing more functionality than a discrete implementation.

"As advanced driver assistance systems [ADAS] become more sophisticated and drivers rely on them more extensively, it will become more important than ever that the sensor suite is fully operational at all times," said Edward Sanchez, senior analyst, global automotive practice at TechInsights. "Dirt or foreign material on a camera lens, which would be just a nuisance in the case of a rearview camera, becomes a vital functional and safety issue on a vehicle that relies on accurate and precise imaging and sensor data.”

TI’s ULC chipset will be able to address ADAS and autonomous vehicle market sensors and cameras, Sanchez said.

To contact the author of this article, email GlobalSpecEditors@globalspec.com

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