Samsung partner leverages Lumotive beam steering tech for next-gen 3D sensing
US optical semiconductor firm Lumotive has entered a commercial agreement with Korean camera and 3D sensing module developer Namuga, a supplier of components for Samsung’s flagship smartphones.
Namuga will leverage Lumotive’s Light Control Metasurface (LCM) chipsets to develop solid-state lidar module solutions for a range of 3D sensing applications in the industrial, consumer and automotive markets.
The announcement follows the trend of Samsung’s electronics and software partners following in the footsteps of tech giant to expand their businesses in the robotics industries, which as reported by The Korea Times is underpinned by Samsung’s $181 billion investment into future tech, including AI as well as robotics.
Namuga’s camera and 3D sensing modules are integral to a variety of widespread consumer electronics products such as notebooks, smartphones, and smart home automation. It also provides diverse capabilities for a range of smart devices such as drones, head-mounted displays (HMDs), and heads-up displays (HUDs).
The company approached Lumotive so as to realise the market potential and significant advantages offered by pure solid-state lidar, which the US firm enables via its LCM technology. Here, metamaterials are used to steer the laser beam without any moving parts, enabling the technology to overcome the size, scalability and reliability limitations of traditional mechanical beam steering systems.
By combining the intrinsic advantages of LCM-based beam steering with its own expertise in the miniaturisation of sensing modules, Namuga intends to expand lidar into new domains of 3D sensing, particularly applications where compactness and weight are crucial. The new partnership will therefore see it leverage Lumotive’s LCM products to create a variety of next-generation solid-state lidar modules that go beyond robotic automation solutions, extending into additional sectors such as services, homecare, and logistics, while also opening avenues into future ventures, such as autonomous driving.
“Lumotive is excited to partner with Namuga, the undeniable industry leader when it comes to sensing camera modules,” said Dr Sam Heidari, CEO of Lumotive. “With our LCM technology, our mission is to catalyse mass accessibility of solid-state lidar by partnering with innovative sensor makers like Namuga, as we jointly spearhead this transformation. We eagerly anticipate the application of our LCM digital beam steering chipsets in a broad spectrum of use-cases."
"Through this partnership with Lumotive, we will accelerate the development of next-generation lidar technology and secure a technological and manufacturing competitive advantage in the global market,” said Tae Youn Won, CEO of Namuga: "Based on Namuga's leading 3D sensing camera technology, we will take the lead in not only the autonomous driving car market, but also the next-generation device technology markets such as robotics, XR, and other innovative technologies."