Epson and its subsidiary, Epson X Investment Corporation, through the EP-GB Investment Limited Partnership in which both companies has invested in – the startup company SiLC Technologies, Inc. that develops and sells on-chip LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) modules that measure the distance to surrounding objects and their speed.
SiLC Technologies was established by a group of professionals with more than 20 years of experience in the silicon photonics industry and is currently developing on-chip LiDAR using silicon photonics technology.
LiDAR emits laser waves that hit surrounding objects and detects the reflected laser waves to measure the distance to surrounding objects and their speed, and this technology is expected to be applied in self-driving cars and ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System). Additionally, LiDAR, which uses FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) is superior to the conventional ToF (Time of Flight) method in terms of detection range and power consumption.
SiLC Technologies’ on-chip LiDAR uses FMCW and is very competitive in terms of sensor performance, IC chip integration, and manufacturing know-how. This technology is expected to be applied in various industries in the future, such as CCTVs, industrial robots, self-driving cars as well as ADAS, and AR/VR wearable consumer devices.
Epson hopes that the symbiosis between Epson’s sensors – that can detect the movement, posture, and geolocation of people and objects – and SiLC Technologies’ LiDAR technology will increase their market value in high growth industries like car manufacturing and robotics, apart from exploring new application domains through the synergy of various core technologies.
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