Foundry UMC is making metasurface optics designed by Metalenz on 300mm wafers in Singapore for mass production.
The manufacturing capabilities provided by UMC will enable Metalenz to accelerate the development of its meta-optic products and bring them to market more quickly as a direct supplier to OEMs from the next quarter.
Metalenz has already sold the technology into several 3D depth sensing designs with leading OEMs in Asia, with the first designs to go through the newly established supply chain for Chinese OEM DiluSense. The patterning of the surface generates optical effects and reduces the size and weight of the sensor sub-system and simplifies assembly and alignment.
Metalenz has exclusive worldwide license to the portfolio of foundational intellectual property relating to metasurfaces developed in the Capasso Lab at Harvard University and has over 20 patents on innovations that simplify and improve optical devices across multiple markets. It has a deal with ST Microelectronics for time of flight sensors.
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“After initially designing meta-optics in partnership with one of the leading suppliers of 3D sensing solutions, we are now engaged with OEMs directly to bring the benefits of metasurface optics to their 3D sensing applications. By partnering with a world-class foundry like UMC, we gain the manufacturing capabilities, expertise, and global reach to serve customers interested in adopting our meta-optics technology,” said Rob Devlin, Co-founder, and CEO of Metalenz. “This will further accelerate our growth as we are becoming the leading provider of precision optics for 3D sensing solutions.”
“Our state-of-the art 12-inch facilities and decades of experience in semiconductor manufacturing has made us the foundry partner of choice for some of the most advanced fabless semiconductor companies in the world. Our expertise and scale will enable Metalenz to effortlessly scale up production to meet the growing demand for its meta-optics products,” said Raj Verma, Associate Vice President of Technology Development at UMC. “In the more-than-Moore era, UMC is focused on strengthening our specialty technology leadership to enable a wide range of 5G, IoT, and automotive applications. This collaboration will enable UMC to expand our offering into meta-optics and play a pioneering role in delivering this disruptive imaging technology to market.”
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“As one of the most innovative suppliers of 3D sensing systems for IoT devices and consumer electronics we have been looking for better optics for years. We are excited to work with Metalenz, as their metasurface technology enables new optical form-factors and performance that will further differentiate some of our most advanced 3D sensing AI solutions.” Said Hu Lei, DiluSense Founder and CEO