Silc Technologies raises US$17m for imaging chip

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Machine vision company Silc Technologies has raised US$17m (£12m) in series A funding, to further develop its integrated FMCW imaging chip for the 3D sensing market in preparation for product launch activities.

Over the last year, Silc has provided development systems to customers in mobility, industrial machine vision, robotics, augmented reality, and consumer applications sectors. The new funds will help further customer traction and support bringing these products to market.

According to Silc, its 4D+ vision chip offers best-in-class performance metrics across range, resolution and accuracy for LiDARs.

The company added it is currently the only solution on the market adding critical vector measurements including velocity, light polarisation, and reflectivity. The additional information derived from this data provides context and perception of the environment. These features enable the chip to be used in a wide-range of applications including autonomous vehicles, biometrics and security, robotics, and more.

“Image processing capabilities of AI systems remain vastly inferior to those of humans, despite the use of massive computing power and high-resolution camera sensors,” said Mehdi Asghari, CEO of Silc.

“The key difference is that our visual cognition is based on far more information than traditional image sensors. 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 revolutionising the 3D sensor market.”

This latest round of funding was led by Alter Venture Partners and Dell Technologies Capital with additional participation from Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures, Sony Innovation Fund by IGV, Epson, UMC Capital, Yamato Holdings and Global Brain.

Following a US$12m (£8.5m) seed round in 2020, the new financing brings Silc’s total funding to over US$30m (£21m).

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