Lumotive and Himax Technology Set Sights on Autonomous Vehicle Market with High-Performance Lidar

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SEATTLE and TAINAN, Taiwan, Sept. 4, 2019 — Lumotive, a startup funded in part by Bill Gates, has announced a collaboration with Himax Technologies Inc. to jointly develop alternative beam steering technology in lidar systems for the autonomous vehicle market. Yole Devéloppement projects that this market will see a compound annual growth of 45% between 2018 and 2024.  

The collaboration aims to marry Himax’s Liquid-Crystal-on-Silicon (LCOS) technology with Lumotive’s Liquid Crystal Metasurfaces (LCMs) to improve the performance, reliability, and cost of lidar systems.

Lidar requires advanced beam steering, which in the past has been provided by bulky spinning assemblies. Newer iterations use MEMS mirrors or optical phased arrays, though both approaches lack performance due to the small aperture of MEMS mirrors and the low efficiency of phased arrays. Lumotive and Himax’s partnership intends to use Himax’s LCOS process to convert semiconductor chips into dynamic displays that steer laser pulses based on the light-bending principles of metamaterials.

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Published: September 2019
Lidar, short for light detection and ranging, is a remote sensing technology that uses laser light to measure distances and generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape and characteristics of objects and surfaces. Lidar systems typically consist of a laser scanner, a GPS receiver, and an inertial measurement unit (IMU), all integrated into a single system. Here is how lidar works: Laser emission: A laser emits laser pulses, often in the form of rapid and repetitive laser...
Businesscollaborationpartnershipslidarautonomous vehiclesSelf-driving carsliquid crystal metasurfacesbeam steering

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