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SiLC secures $25 Million additional funding for machine vision

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SiLC Technologies, a silicon photonics company working on machine vision, has announced $25 million in additional funding, bringing its total funding proceeds to date to $56 million. New strategic participants in the round include Hokuyo Automatic, Hankook & Company, and ROHM Semiconductor. They join SiLC’s roster of existing investors, including Epson, Yamato, UMC, Sony, Dell Technologies Capital and Alter Venture Partners.

The new funding announcement follows SiLC’s most recent introduction of four versions of its FMCW LiDAR-based Eyeonic Vision System. Aiming to bridge the artificial intelligence (AI) gap for machine vision, SiLC has engineered the Eyeonic Vision System for vision detection capabilities that span from short distances to over 1 km. 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, which is recognised by our world-class syndicate of investors,” said Dr. Mehdi Asghari, SiLC’s CEO and founder. “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. 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.”

SiLC says the new funds will be used to expand production to support design wins for its Eyeonic Vision solutions as well as continued product development to 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, such as industrial robots, autonomous vehicles, ADAS, and AR/VR wearable consumer devices,” said Sumio Utsunomiya, COO of Epson X Investment Corp.

“Silicon photonics is key for the miniaturisation of 3D sensors, while FMCW LiDAR enables the use of eye-safe wavelengths, provides instantaneous velocity, and removes the need for high-power lasers to reach long distances,” commented Dr. Jose Pozo, CTO of Optica. “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.”

SiLC’s mission to enable machines to see like humans is the driving force for the company, where the goal is to equip machines with vision that far surpasses human capabilities. Asghari concluded: “We’ve logged in milestone achievements in chip integration, precision and resolution performance, range detection, and customer engagement. Moving forward, this new funding will help to further fuel our march to bring advanced machine vision to a broader range of applications.”

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