The optical-semiconductor firm Lumotive, based in Seattle, WA, USA, has signed agreements with three global distribution partners for the company’s Light Control Metasurface (LCM) beam-control technology. The agreements—with Macnica Cytech (China), Uniquest (Republic of Korea) and Redtree Solutions (Europe)—aim particularly at opening global channels for the company’s LM10 product, which Lumotive describes as “the world's first commercially available digital beam steering solution for 3D sensing applications.”
Missing link in lidar?
Launched for full production at the end of August 2023, the LM10 is a thin, chip-scale beam steerer targeted for short- and mid-range lidar applications in industrial robotics, smart infrastructure and autonomous navigation. The device centers around an ultrathin metasurface that controls and dynamically steers light without moving parts, and that the company says is mass-producible at low cost through a Lumotive-patented process that leverages “tried-and-true, widely available silicon manufacturing techniques.”
The company believes the device represents a “missing link” in solid-state lidar, which Lumotive maintains has lacked “an efficient, mass-producible method for beam steering.” According to the firm, the LM10 enables software control of beam forming on the fly, can achieve a 160-degree field of view in the beam-steering axis, and is small and thin enough (10×9-mm active aperture) to drop into compact system designs.
Tapping partner networks and expertise
The three recently unveiled agreements, Lumotive says, significantly expand the global partner network for marketing the LM10. Macnica Cytech, established in 1998, is headquartered in Hong Kong and has more than 30 “regional offices and contact points” in China and across Asia. Redtree Solutions, founded in 2006, describes itself as “the largest pan-European manufacturer’s representative company,” with offices across a swath of countries in Europe. Uniquest, started in 1993, focuses its distribution efforts on the electronic-components industry in Korea.
Lumotive believes the new partnerships will give the company a better foothold in regions where “demand for next-generation 3D sensing solutions is soaring.”
Lumotive believes that tapping the networks and local expertise of these partners will give the company a better foothold in regions where “demand for next-generation 3D sensing solutions is soaring.” The firm thinks the deals should also create opportunities to improve global supply-chain efficiency for Lumotive’s product, and to up the company’s game in technical training and support in worldwide markets.
“With the LM10 proving its unmatched capabilities for precise, reliable 3D sensing, our priority now is to ensure its availability worldwide,” Lumotive CEO Sam Heidari said in a press release accompanying the announcement. “Our expanded partner network propels this mission.”