Introducing the 4D Vision Chip:
a small chip with a big world view
A different view of the world
SiLC offers a different vision of how the virtual and real world come together.
Conventional imaging solutions are based on the use of an image sensor to convert photons to electrons directly to establish a 2D image. This immediate conversion process ignores a wealth of information the photons carry in their phase, wavelength and polarization.
SiLC’s solution, called “Smart Vision,” integrates all required functionality, such as a coherent light source and optical signal processing, to enable significant additional information to be extracted from the returning photons before their conversion to electrons. Our vision sensor can therefore enable multiple additional dimensions such as depth and velocity. Furthermore, the coherent approach taken improves achievable accuracy by orders of magnitude over existing technologies.
Computer vision that goes beyond the car
3D vision solutions, through deployment of LiDAR technology, are already transforming our world - but their applications have been limited due to cost and size, and mainly focused on the car.
Among the first applications for our Vision Chip would be LiDAR for autonomy applications where existing solutions offer too simplistic of an approach to ensure safety, interference tolerance and performance levels needed. Now, a decade later, a more sophisticated vision has arrived, one that ensures a safer, smarter world view. That world view opens the market applications of smart vision to include not only autonomous vehicles, but advances in biometrics, security, industrial, healthcare, and robotics.
Autonomous Vehicles need to be able to detect a low reflectivity object, like a tire on the road, up to 300m out in order to perform an adequate evasive maneuver. A high resolution long range LiDAR is essential for this market to develop. Lidar sensors for Robotics Vehicles and Level 3/4/5 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are expected to grow to a $13B market size by 2027*.
Biometrics & Security
3D face identification has transformed the mobile phone industry and is expected to change the way we check-in for flights, rent cars, or get money from ATMs. This is expected to be a $14B market by 2024*.
Industrial & Robotics
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are expected to drive the next industrial revolution. These technologies rely on highly accurate data that require sophisticated vision sensors. The industrial and commercial 3D sensor market is going to grow to $2B in size by 2023*.
*) Source: Yole Research 2018
Current 3D vision technologies rely on high power lasers at the 905 nanometer wavelength and highly sensitive detectors, using a Time of Flight (TOF) architecture. These early technologies have performed adequately to enable early deployments in autonomous vehicle trials. However, costly assembly processes have limited their resolution and cost effective scaling, eye safety concerns have restricted their range and multiuser cross-talk will most likely hamper their widespread usage. It is broadly accepted that a transition to Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) technology at 1550 nanometer wavelength is needed to address eye safety regulatory concerns and enable volume deployment with minimal multi-user interference. Extensive usage of this approach has been prevented in the past due to the cost and number of components needed. SiLC's silicon photonics integration platform offers a cost effective solution by integrating all the high performance components needed into a single silicon chip through mature semiconductor fabrication processes offering a low cost, compact, and low power solution. Silicon manufacturing offers affordable high volume scaling of complex devices and technologies.
FMCW LiDAR on Chip
SiLC’s economic breakthrough relies on the full integration of all the photonics functions, including lasers and detectors, into a single chip. Utilizing frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) at the 1550nm wavelength, SiLC’s optical engine represents the future of LiDAR in which safety, performance and range dramatically increase, while full integration enables a low-cost, compact footprint.
Central Vision Processor
SiLC’s fully integrated LiDAR chips can be sprinkled around the car or used to create a Central Vision Processing unit that can be placed in a convenient and protected location.
The Central Vision Processor approach scales with lens optics and sensor resolution and enables unparalleled design flexibility.
Working in tandem with well established partners, SiLC utilizes a fully qualified fabrication process and proven, highly automated photonics assembly and manufacturing techniques. With over 20 years of manufacturing experience we work closely with our ecosystem of partners to offer customers full flexibility over design and operational parameters to enable the right application focused performance trade-offs.
A Heritage of Manufacturing Innovative Solutions at Scale
Ours is a dedicated team of silicon photonics experts with over 20-year track record of taking concepts to qualified products and bringing solutions to high volume manufacturing. We are applying the established and proven economic growth and volume production scaling engines - semiconductor materials and processes – to the 3D sensing sector, integrating full photonic functionality into a single vision sensor, while utilizing standard assembly processes and established ecosystems.
Dr. Mehdi Asghari
President & CEO
Over 20 years in silicon photonics Industry and his 3rd silicon photonic startup. First two successful IPO and commercial sale
Ralf J. Muenster
VP, Business Development and Marketing
Former Texas Instruments director with over 20 years experience commercializing and growing differentiated high tech businesses and expanding customer and partnership engagements.
Dr. Jonathan Luff
VP, Research and Development
20 years in silicon photonics Industry and his 3rd silicon photonic startup. Proven track record of product development, qualification and manufacturing transfer
Mr. Wayne White
VP, Fab Operations
40 years in SC industry with small and large entities as well as process development, manufacturing and operations. His 3rd silicon photonics startup
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423 E Huntington Drive
Monrovia, CA 91016
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