SiLC Technologies Raises $17 Million for Its 4D Vision Chip for LiDAR Systems

By McKenzie Carpenter Monday, May 24, 2021

SiLC Technologies, a silicon photonics startup company, announced it raised $17 million to support the growth and advancement of the business in the 4D LiDAR imaging market.

SiLC FMCW 4D Imaging chip.

About SiLC Technologies

Founded in 2018, SiLC Technologies is a California-based startup company that specializes in using silicon photonics to create “smart vision” 4D+ chips to use for light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system applications. Silicon photonics refers to the use of patterned silicon as an optical medium where light can easily pass through.

The business is attempting to make significant strides in the LiDAR technology industry by creating a chip that uses 4D+ vision as most LiDAR systems use 3D scanning. 3D vision essentially provides a static geometric model of different landscapes and objects. 4D vision goes one step further and allows for spatial awareness. The most common example of 3D to 4D is going from a cube to a tesseract.

The startup claims that its 4D+ chips can detect depth, velocity, reflectivity, and light polarization. Additionally, the company states that the chips are lower cost and require less power. The business produces its 4D+ imaging chips that could potentially service a variety of industries, including autonomous electric vehicles, AI and robotics, security, and biometric scanning.

SiLC Technologies has not yet launched the 4D+ imaging chips.

$17 Million in Funding

The 4D Lidar chips startup announced it raised $17 million in a Series A funding round led by Alter Venture Partners and Dell Technologies Capital. Sony Innovation Fund by IGV, Epson, Yamato Holdings, and a few other investors also participated in this round.

According to Crunchbase data, the company previously raised $12 million in seed funding last year. The business stated that with the new funding, SiLC Technologies raised more than $30 million.

Mehdi Asghari, founder and CEO of the startup, said in a statement, “...Our 4D+ vision sensors provide critical additional data and cues needed for efficient machine image processing and visual cognition much like the human eye does to the brain. The quality of investors we have attracted underscores the transformative potential of SiLC’s unique technology. This latest funding round will be critical as we continue on our journey towards revolutionizing the 3D sensor market.”

With the new capital, the company plans to further product development with hopes of earning more production design awards. In addition, the business will use the capital to prepare for the product launch. SiLC Technologies did not disclose when it plans to commercially launch the 4D+ imaging chips.

LiDAR Market

The company is one of several startups operating in the LiDAR industry. In March, Startup Savant reported that Innovusion, a startup that produces long-range 3D LiDAR systems, raised $64 million to advance its technology. SiLC Technologies differentiates itself from Innovusion and other LiDAR technology companies as it has created a chip with higher imaging capabilities.

Fortune Business Insights reported earlier this year that the global LiDAR market was valued at $1.3 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $6.7 billion by 2026 — growing at a CAGR of 22.7% from 2019 to 2026.

About the Author

Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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