Texas Instruments has introduced specially developed semiconductors based on ULC technology. The ultrasonic lens cleaning chipset enables self-cleaning cameras and image sensors.
To quickly remove dirt, ice and water from sensitive sensor technology for automated driving functions, Texas Instruments has introduced the ULC1001 ultrasonic cleaning DSP. This chipset consists of the ULC1001 digital signal processor (DSP) and the DRV2901 piezo transducer driver. Precisely controlled vibrations are used to remove debris. The ULC1001 controller includes proprietary algorithms for automatic sensing and cleaning, as well as temperature and fault detection. According to the manufacturer, the ULC technology can be adapted to various camera lens designs. The chipset’s small form factor also makes it possible to improve machine vision and sensing in a variety of applications.
Already in volume production, the ULC1001 DSP is available in a 4.5-mm-by-5-mm, 32-pin HotRod quad flat no-lead (QFN) package. The chipset also includes a pulse-width modulator, current- and voltage-sense amplifiers and an analog-to-digital converter. Used together with the DRV2901 piezo transducer driver as a companion amplifier, TI’s chipset enables ULC in a compact footprint with a printed circuit board size less than 25 mm by 15 mm. "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 approach addresses what will soon be a significant issue in the ADAS and autonomous vehicle market both practically and cost-effectively", said Edward Sanchez, Senior Analyst, Global Automotive Practice at TechInsights.