Laser-pulse lidar startup wins funds

October 27, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Startup Oryx Vision Ltd. (Petach Tikva, Israel) has raised $17 million in Series A funding to help commercialize a nano-antennas used for depth sensing using infrared laser light.

The company claims its technology is capable of a range of 150 meters and mega-pixel resolution, or approximately 50 times the performance of rotating lidar.

Instead of rotating mechanically, the Oryx Vision approach is to illuminate the scene once and receive return signals at an array of antenna that are implemented in 5-micron silicon. The simplicity of the system will reduce the cost of automotive depth sensing by an order of magnitude the company claims. The high resolution will allow the use of simpler algorithms and less processing power to make the right driving decisions. And the use of long-wave infrared will allow the system to operate in direct sunlight and severe weather conditions.

Oryx was founded in 2009 by electro-optics expert David Ben-Bassat, who previously founded RFWaves and sold it to Vishay. The funding was led by Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), with additional participation from Maniv Mobility and Trucks VC. BVP Partner Adam Fisher will join Oryx's board of directors.

Oryx said it would use the money to accelerate expansion and is recruiting physicists, electrical engineers and computer scientists.

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