July 19 (Reuters) – Luminar Applied sciences Inc (LAZR.O), a maker of lidar sensors for self-driving vehicles, mentioned on Monday that it has acquired a small chipmaker that makes a key a part of its sensor.
Palo Alto, California-based Luminar mentioned it has agreed to buy Wilmington, Massachusetts-based OptoGration Inc, with the deal anticipated to shut within the third quarter. Luminar didn’t disclose the phrases of the deal however mentioned it might not have materials impression on Luminar’s money place or share depend.
Luminar’s lidar sensors beam out laser gentle and detect the way it bounces again to assist self-driving automobiles achieve a three-dimensional view of the highway.
The corporate is certainly one of a half dozen corporations which have both turn out to be publicly traded prior to now yr or are within the means of doing so, with all of them vying for lidar offers with automakers. Luminar has a take care of Volvo Automobiles to begin placing its sensors on the roads in driver-assistance techniques subsequent yr.
Luminar’s system makes use of a laser that operates at a wavelength of 1,550-nanometers, which it has mentioned provides it the flexibility to detect objects additional than most different lidars that use a 905-nanometer wavelength laser.
The downside is supplies prices, which automakers wish to see fall to be able to preserve costs for self-driving options cheap. The upper frequency laser requires a detector product of an unique materials known as indium gallium arsenide.
For the previous 5 years, Luminar has labored with OptoGration to safe a customized laser gentle detector that retains the quantity of dear supplies to a mininum. Jason Eichenholz, co-founder and chief expertise officer for Luminar, mentioned the corporate might be buying OptoGration’s group and manufacturing unit, which has the flexibility to supply 1 million detectors per yr and might scale as much as 10 million.
“The important thing on this acquisition was the availability chain, to additional strengthen what we now have coming down the highway and our potential to develop new applied sciences,” Eichenholz informed Reuters.
Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Modifying by Will Dunham
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