China’s metasurface IC startup raises funds
Tianjin Shanhe Optoelectronics Technology Co. Ltd., a developer of metasurface photonic chips, has raised tens of millions of yuan in a pre-A round of financing. Ten million yuan is roughly equivalent to US$1.5 million.
The company was founded in 2020 and trades as Shanhe Photonics. The round was led by Matrix Partners China and the money will be used for product development, team expansion and small-scale mass production, the company said.
A metasurface is an artificial structure array composed of a large number of subwavelength units designed and arranged on a two-dimensional plane, which can flexibly control electromagnetic waves. A metalens is a metasurface with a lens function. They are small in size, light in weight, and easy to integrate. They can precisely control the amplitude, phase, polarization and other parameters of incident light. It has potentially important applications in medical sensing and imaging.
Shanhe Photonics has been founded to perform R&D and manufacturing for large-capacity transmission of light, micro-display and optical computing applications. It is now possible to integrate multiple optical functions on a photonic chip using semiconductor processes and operate at the nanoscale.
The company claims to hold a number of patents, and related products could be developed for almost all electronic sectors including consumer electronics, automotive electronics, drones, security monitoring, automatic driving, communications, aerospace and defense industry.
Shanhe Photonics has completed the sample production and module packaging of a number of photonic chip products, and said it expects to achieve small-scale mass production in 2022.
Lei Sun, the CEO of Shanhe Photonics, obtained his PhD from the University of Rochester. Before returning to China, he worked in the IBM R&D Alliance, and on the first EUV lithography prototype machine and the subsequent EUV model NXE:3300.
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