Scalable low-power silicon photonic platform for all-solid-state beam steering
Abstract: Solid-state beam steering is the key to realize miniature, mass-producible LIDAR. The required huge power consumption, however, prevents this technology from further scalability. Here we show two different approaches to enable low-power beam steering. In the first approach, we use spatial-mode multiplexing to reduce the power consumption of the phase shifters in a large-scale phased array. This approach enhances the power efficiency without sacrificing optical bandwidth or operation speed. Using this approach, we demonstrate 2D beam steering with a phased array containing 512 elements. This phased array consumes only 1.9 W of power while steering over a 70°× 6° field of view. In the second approach, we achieve 2D beam steering with an optical switch array that forms switchable point emitters and a metasurface lens that collimates the emitted light. The power consumption of this approach scales logarithmically with the number of emitters and therefore favors large-scale systems.