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Semilux launches programme to develop LiDAR for autonomous vehicles


Collaborating with partners at universities in Taiwan, the company says it aims to advance optical phased array technology, integrated with silicon photonics, to develop a cutting-edge module for automotive applications

Semilux, a provider of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), LiDAR, and ADB components and solutions, has announced that it has started an R&D programme with academics and scholars in Taiwan’s universities, with the aim of jointly developing a cutting-edge domestic solid-state LiDAR module for automotive applications. The company says that the programme, which is sponsored by the National Science and Technology Council in Taiwan, is at the forefront of R&D and application of the Optical Phased Array (OPA), a key area of LiDAR technology which is expected to transform the autonomous driving industry.

The programme is designed to overcome the weakness in the current OPA technology for solid-state automotive LiDAR module. Semilux plans to complete the programme by 2025 and divides it into three phases in the process as follows.

In the first phase, focusing on R&D on the innovative OPA-based chip, Semilux says it will be committed to taking the lead in innovatively advancing the OPA technology integrated with the silicon photonics circuit, developing the OPA-based chip as an integral component in solid-state LiDAR module.

The second phase will involve R&D on a comprehensive solution for solid-state LiDAR module. In this phase, Wood-Hi Cheng, a professor at the National Chung Hsing University, and his research team will focus on a systematic solution for the design and manufacturing of solid-state LiDAR module for vehicles.

Finally, during the field trials on automobiles phase, the reliability and capability of the module will be tested and validated on mini electric buses through extensive trials in real-life driving scenarios in National Chung Hsing University.

Experts from National Chung Hsing University, Turing Drive, and Industrial Technology Research Institute are also participating in this programme. The new products in the pipeline are expected to be first implemented in railway system in small batches in 2024. The products are planned to be officially launched by 2026 and applied in autonomous vehicles and the low-speed logistics field such as the automated guided vehicles in semiconductor factory and other high-tech factories.

Yung-Peng Chang, chairman of the board, director and co-CEO of Semilux, remarked: “We’re excited to launch the programme to further develop our core solid-state LiDAR technology and significantly contribute to the development of Taiwan’s autonomous vehicle technology. The products potentially feature high resolution, long detection range and stable capacity, which signal a transformative impact to the autonomous vehicle market. We believe that the innovative and comprehensive LiDAR solution under development would meet a wide range of market demands, enhance our competitiveness and boost our profitability. This initiative also heralds a serious of our R&D measures and collaborative programmes in the coming months. We plan to continue to invest in technological innovation to enhance our market presence and maximise our growth potentials, contributing to the automotive industry and semiconductor ecosystem in Taiwan.”

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