Lumotive and Himax Develop Liquid Crystal on Silicon Solution for High-Performance LiDAR Systems

Lumotive and Himax Display recently announced a jointly-developed solution to improve the performance, reliability and cost of LiDAR systems. The solution to enable beam steering technology in LiDAR systems marries Himax’s Liquid-Crystal-On-Silicon (LCOS) technology with Lumotive’s patented Liquid Crystal Metasurfaces™ (LCMs).

Founded in 2018 with funding from Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, Lumotive is a leader in solid-state LiDAR, developing high-performance systems for autonomous vehicles. The Seattle-based company’s LiDAR solutions leverage beam steering technology based on patented Liquid Crystal Metasurfaces™ to deliver high performance and readiness for mass adoption. Himax Technologies is a fabless semiconductor solution provider dedicated to display imaging processing technologies.

LiDAR, a key 3D-sensing technology for autonomous driving systems, requires advanced beam steering to deliver high performance and commercial viability. Traditionally, LiDAR relied on bulky spinning assemblies, while newer breeds of LiDAR sensors utilize MEMS mirrors or optical phased arrays. However, both of these approaches lack performance due to the small optical aperture of MEMS mirrors and the low efficiency of phased arrays.

The new solution by Lumotive leverages Himax’s unique, tailor-made LCOS process to convert semiconductor chips into dynamic displays that steer laser pulses based on the light-bending principles of metamaterials. Lumotive’s LCM™ chips contain no moving parts and are fabricated using mature semiconductor manufacturing processes and Himax’s tailor-made LCOS technology to enable commercially viable LiDAR systems with low cost, high reliability and small size.

In addition to cost and performance advantages, Lumotive LCMs can be integrated into small form-factor systems, appealing for other applications in industrial and consumer sectors.

Source: Press Release


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