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Luminar Continues Vertical Integration by Acquiring Freedom Photonics

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Lidar and automotive technology company Luminar will acquire Freedom Photonics, a laser manufacturer and laser chip developer. This transaction follows a multiyear collaboration between the companies, as well as Luminar’s prior acquisitions of Black Forest Engineering in 2017 and OptoGration in 2021.

In a press release, Luminar said it is now vertically integrated across core lidar components. The Black Forest Engineering acquisition was aimed at securing custom signal processing chips. The OptoGration acquisition was aimed at receiver chips.

“Component-level innovation and integration is critical to our performance, cost, and continued automotive technology leadership. Bringing Freedom Photonics into Luminar enables a new level of economies of scale, deepens our competitive moat, and strengthens our future technology roadmap,” said Jason Eichenholz, co-founder and CTO of Luminar. “We’ve worked closely with the Freedom team for the past several years. They have proven to be the best in the world for breakthrough semiconductor laser chip technology, where both power and beam quality are needed simultaneously for true high resolution at long range.”

The Freedom Photonics executive team will continue to lead and expand the business upon close of the transaction, which is expected in the second quarter of 2022.

“Joining Luminar is the perfect opportunity for Freedom Photonics, providing us an accelerated path to at-scale commercialization of our world-class diode laser technologies,” said Milan Mashanovitch, co-founder and CEO of Freedom Photonics. “In addition to helping extend Luminar’s automotive industry leadership, we will continue to serve and grow our broad customer base across other key markets.”

Photonics Spectra
May 2022
An acronym of light detection and ranging, describing systems that use a light beam in place of conventional microwave beams for atmospheric monitoring, tracking and detection functions. Ladar, an acronym of laser detection and ranging, uses laser light for detection of speed, altitude, direction and range; it is often called laser radar.
Businesslidarautomotive technologiesLuminarAutonomous drivinglaser chipsFreedom Photonicsmergers & acquisitionsAmericasJason Eichenholzsemiconductor laser chipdiode laserIndustry News

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