Laser-Based Fusion Energy Startup Closes Funding Round: Week in Brief: 04/22/22

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OSAKA, Japan, April 22, 2022 — EX-Fusion, a startup aimed at commercializing laser-based fusion energy, closed a pre-seed round funding of ¥130 million ($1 million). The round was led by ANRI, a Tokyo-based venture capital firm, along with Osaka University Venture Capital. The funding enables the company to accelerate development of the continuous target supply system and the laser target tracking system, both of which are fundamental to the commercialization of laser-powered nuclear fusion reactors.
EX-Fusion Team Photo, from left to right: Kenjiro Takahashi, Takayoshi Norimatsu, Kazuki Matsuo, Yoshitaka Mori, Koichi Masuda. Courtesy of EX-Fusion.
EX-Fusion team photo, left to right: Kenjiro Takahashi, Takayoshi Norimatsu, Kazuki Matsuo, Yoshitaka Mori, and Koichi Masuda. Courtesy of EX-Fusion. 
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Windstream Wholesale, a provider of advanced optical solutions, tested the interoperability of QSFP-DD form factor ZR+ pluggable modules from II-VI and Acacia, now part of Cisco. The tests established 400-Gbit links in a production environment over a 1027-km link. The team also leveraged the Marvel Deneb Coherent DSP within a native 0-dB, II-VI pluggable and the Acacia module using the Greylock DSP. Industry standard OFEC algorithms were also used in the trials. In March, Windstream completed 1000-km 400G field trials leveraging pluggable modules from II-VI Inc.  

KENLEY, England — The Gérard Mourou Center for Ultrafast Optical Science at the University of Michigan selected Optical Surfaces Ltd. to provide beam expander optics for its zetawatt equivalent ultrashort pulse laser system (ZEUS). Sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the ZEUS laser facility is being constructed to allow a petawatt laser pulse from one of its beamlines to collide with a beam of GeV-energy electrons generated by its other beamline. In this collision, the electrons will encounter a zetawatt (1021) equivalent laser power as measured in their rest frame.

PHILADELPHIA — Comcast, the largest gig-speed internet provider in the U.S., developed end-to-end deployment of advanced hollow-core fiber optics when it connected two locations in Philadelphia, which enabled network engineers to test and observe the fiber in a real-world deployment. This 40-km hybrid deployment of hollow-core and traditional fiber is believed to be the longest in the world by an internet provider. Comcast tested bidirectional transmission, used coherent and direct-detect systems, and produced traffic rates ranging from 10 to 400 Gbit/s, all simultaneously on a single strand of hollow-core fiber.

TORONTO — POET Technologies, the designer and developer of the POET Optical Interposer and photonic integrated circuits for the data center and telecommunications markets, joined the Singapore Hybrid-Integrated Next Generation Micro-Electronics (SHINE) Center located in the College of Design and Engineering at the National University of Singapore. A team formed by professors from NUS, NTU, UC Berkeley, Northeastern University, A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics, and DSO National Laboratories will be research participants. Other members of the consortium are Advanced Micro Foundry, Applied Materials, Cadence Design System, Continental Automotive, and SOITEC.

HANGZHOU, China — LuminWave, a developer of silicon photonics FMCW 4D lidar, raised more than $20 million in Series B financing. LuminWave develops silicon photonics-based FMCW coherent detection and solid-state scanning technologies and highly integrated lidar solutions. It currently has two product families: a solid-state large FOV (up to 120° × 90°) Diversity Series (D-Series), and a FMCW 4D Foresight Series (F-Series).

ARLINGTON, Va. — BlueHalo delivered its LOCUST laser weapon system to be integrated into the Palletized High Energy Laser (P-HEL) system. The Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, in support of the Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO), established the P-HEL program to address the growing threat of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) by developing this counter-sUAS prototype. The JCO intends to evaluate the P-HEL in an operationally relevant environment this spring, to be followed by possible deployment of the system overseas for further evaluation and operational use.

JENA, Germany — Carl Zeiss Meditec acquired two manufacturers of surgical instruments, Kogent Surgical and Katalyst Surgical. The companies, headquartered near St. Louis, were founded by Gregg Scheller and have held long-term partnerships with Carl Zeiss Meditec. Financial terms of the deals have not been disclosed.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Photovoltaic technology company Tandem PV closed an initial $6 million in its $12 million Series A financing round. The round was led by Bioeconomy Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm, through its new Planetary Technologies Fund, with participation from an international solar manufacturer and American utility company. Tandem PV will use the funds to build a pilot manufacturing facility in San Jose.

Published: April 2022
1. The combination of the effects of two or more stimuli in any given sense to form a single sensation. With respect to vision, the perception of continuous illumination formed by the rapid successive presentation of light flashes at a specified rate. 2. The transition of matter from solid to liquid form. 3. With respect to atomic or nuclear fusion, the combination of atomic nuclei, under extreme heat, to form a heavier nucleus.
BusinessOpticsLaserssolarphotovoltaicsBiophotonicsMaterialssilicon photonicsfundingfinancingcontractagreementpartnershipimaging lidarmanufacturingmilitary and defensefusionnuclearfiber optics & communicationOptical SurfacesComcastPOET TechnologiesLuminWaveFMCWBlueHaloLOCUSTCarl Zeiss Meditec

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