Bill Gates funded lidar startup partners with LCOS maker

October 28, 2019 //By Peter Clarke
Bill Gates funded lidar startup partners with LCOS maker
Lumotive LLC (Bellevue, Washington), the Bill Gates backed startup developing metamaterials-based lidar, has announced a partnership with Himax Display Inc. (Tainan, Taiwan) a maker of liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) devices.

Although the LCOS devices are conventionally used for viewfinder displays the plan is to use the manufacturing technique to mass produce beam-steering lidars based on Lumotive's liquid crystal metasurface technology. Lumotive is hopeful that its technique can prove superior to spinning assemblies, MEMS-based optics or optical phased arrays.

Lumotive's lidar systems offer the combination of: large optical aperture of 25mm by 25 mm that delivers long range, a 120-degree field-of-view with high angular resolution, and rapid, random-access beam steering. The expectation is that Lumotive lidar should also achieve a small form factor that is appealing to automobile makers but also for consumer and industrial applications.

"Himax's industry-leading LCOS technology and in-depth LC know-how perfectly complement our LCM technology," said Lumotive co-founder and CEO, William Colleran, in a statement. "Our combined approach is an innovative technological advance that lowers cost, improves performance and ultimately speeds time-to-market for reliable lidar systems that make self-driving cars viable and safe."

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