Silicon Photonics startup SiLC raises $17M in funding to advance machine vision applications and revolutionize the 3D sensing market
SiLC Technologies, a Monrovia, California-based Silicon photonics startup focusing on photonic Sensors and 3D imaging applications, announced today it has closed a $17M in Series A funding round to advance machine vision applications.
The round, which brings SiLC’s total funding to over $30 million, was led by Alter Venture Partners and Dell Technologies Capital with additional participation from Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures, Sony Innovation Fund by IGV*, Epson, UMC Capital, Yamato Holdings, and Global Brain. The announcement follows a $12 million seed round in 2020. SiLC will use the funding proceeds to expand its operations, accelerate product development and gain additional production design wins – all in preparation for pre-production and product launch activities.
Founded in 2018 by Jonathan Luf and Mehdi Asghari, SiLC is a developer of the industry’s first fully-integrated FMCW 4D imaging chip – a significant step forward in the quest to make machine vision more like human vision. This achievement is poised to revolutionize the 3D sensor market.
SiLC consists of a team with more than 25 years of experience in photonics, SiLC has developed a significant body of intellectual property, as well as a proprietary process for manufacturing high-performance optical components at a large scale.
Over the last year, SiLC has provided development systems to customers that are at the forefront of their respective market segments, including mobility, industrial machine vision, robotics, augmented reality, and consumer applications. The new funds will also help further customer traction and support bringing these products to market.
Currently being readied for broad deployment, SiLC’s advanced, production-ready 4D+ Vision Chip offers best-in-class performance metrics across range, resolution, and accuracy for LiDARs. The 4D+ Vision Chip accomplishes this in a much smaller footprint and on an already proven scalable manufacturing platform. Additionally, it is the only solution on the market adding critical vector measurements including velocity, light polarization, and reflectivity. The additional information derived from this data provides context and greatly improves the perception of the environment, a breakthrough that has wide-ranging applications for autonomous vehicles, biometrics and security, robotics, and more.
“Image processing capabilities of AI systems remain vastly inferior to those of humans, despite the use of massive computing power and high-resolution camera sensors,” said Mehdi Asghari, founder and CEO, SiLC. “The key difference is that our visual cognition is based on far more information than traditional image sensors. Our 4D+ vision sensors provide critical additional data and cues needed for efficient machine image processing and visual cognition much like the human eye does to the brain. The quality of investors we have attracted underscores the transformative potential of SiLC’s unique technology. This latest funding round will be critical as we continue on our journey towards revolutionizing the 3D sensor market.”