SiLC raises $25m for LiDAR sensor

SiLC raises $25m for LiDAR sensor

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By Nick Flaherty

LiDAR startup SiLC Technologies (SiLC) has raised $25m to expand production to support design wins for its Eyeonic Vision system as well as continued product development

New strategic participants in the SiLC Series A round include Hokuyo Automatic, Hankook & Company, and ROHM Semiconductor to join Epson, Yamato, UMC, Sony, Dell Technologies Capital and Alter Venture Partners.

The company is also working closely with indie Semiconductor on automotive applications.

The deal brings the total raised to $56m and follows the introduction of four versions of its FMCW LiDAR. This aims to bridge the AI gap for machine vision with detection capabilities that span from short distances to over 1 km. The company points to AI as a driving factor for machines requiring the ability to perceive and understand their surroundings in the same way as humans.

“We have significant momentum and support from our customer base, which is recognized by our world-class syndicate of investors. This shows that a genuinely differentiated technology that is proven to work and adds real value will get support from its investor and customer base,” said Dr. Mehdi Asghari, SiLC’s CEO and founder. “Even in today’s economic climate we have nearly doubled our total fund raise. We are excited to have such notable industry leaders join us on our journey.”

“SiLC’s on-chip FMCW LiDAR is very competitive in terms of sensor performance, chip integration and manufacturing know-how. We expect this technology to be applied in various industries in the future, such as industrial robots, autonomous vehicles, ADAS, and AR/VR wearable consumer devices,” said Sumio Utsunomiya, COO, Epson X Investment Corp.

“Silicon photonics is key for the miniaturization of 3D sensors, while FMCW LiDAR enables the use of eye-safe wavelengths, provides instantaneous velocity, and removes the need for high-power lasers to reach long distances. The combination of these two techniques, as SiLC is demonstrating, will soon enable every electronic device, including drones, robots, and wearable devices, to be aware of its surroundings,” commented Dr. Jose Pozo, CTO of Optica, the society advancing optics and photonics worldwide.

“We’ve logged in milestone achievements in chip integration, precision and resolution performance, range detection, and customer engagement,” added Asghari. “Moving forward, this new funding will help to further fuel our march to bring advanced machine vision to a broader range of applications.”

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