Lasers used for FMCW lidar are typically semiconductor diode lasers. They are small in size, relatively low cost, and well developed due to heavy investment from the telecom industry.
However, they have drawbacks for long range operation including difficulty achieving the required coherence as well as high enough output power. In addition, they require an external interferometer for signal detection and in many cases an external modulator for frequency tuning.
We have developed a new class of lasers for FMCW LiDAR. They provide extremely high temporal coherence, 2 orders of magnitude higher output power, do not require an external interferometer or tuning device, and operate at wavelengths compatible with low noise and cheap silicon detectors.