SiLC Technologies, Inc. (SiLC), a leader in silicon photonics, has announced US$25 million in additional funding. This brings total funding proceeds to date to US$56 million including its Seed and Series A offerings. New strategic participants in the round include Hokuyo Automatic, Hankook & Company, and ROHM Semiconductor. Specifically, they are industry leaders with a strategic focus on industrial, robotics, and mobility vision. They join SiLC’s roster of existing high-caliber investors, including Epson, Yamato, UMC, Sony, Dell Technologies Capital and Alter Venture Partners.
The new funding announcement comes on the heels of SiLC’s most recent introduction of four versions of its Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) LiDAR-based EyeonicTM Vision System. Generally, SiLC aims to bridge the artificial intelligence (AI) gap for machine vision. As a result, it has engineered the Eyeonic Vision System for vision detection capabilities that span from short distances to over 1km. 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. Our world-class syndicate of investors recognizes this. 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.”
The new funds will be used to expand production to support design wins for its Eyeonic Vision solutions. Also, it will continue to fund product development. Specifically, it targets further application deployments in mobility, robotics, smart cameras, security, and other leading markets.
“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. Among them are industrial robots, autonomous vehicles, ADAS, and AR/VR wearable consumer devices.” This is according to Sumio Utsunomiya, COO, Epson X Investment Corp.
“Silicon photonics is key for the miniaturization of 3D sensors. Meanwhile, 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,” says Dr. Jose Pozo, CTO of Optica, the society advancing optics and photonics worldwide.
Mainly, SiLC’s mission to enable machines to see like humans is the driving force for the company. Specifically, it aims to equip machines with vision that far surpasses human capabilities. “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.”