Scantinel Photonics has secured a 10 million euro extended series A investment round backed by Photondelta, complementing previous investments from Scania Growth Capital and Zeiss Ventures. The Ulm-based startup will use the funding to roll out its Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) lidar devices to customers.
FMCW involves continuously emitting light while periodically modulating its frequency and comparing the incoming frequency with what was sent out. The distance follows from how much the frequency changed while the reflected light made its round trip. Further processing extracts the Doppler shift to yield the object’s velocity.
Measuring both distance and velocity is one advantage of the FMCW approach. Another is the ability to make compact devices. Scantinel’s automotive product, developed in cooperation with Imec, is based on a fully CMOS-compatible photonic integrated circuit (PIC), which should facilitate scaling to high volumes.
The investment by Photondelta marks another step in its mission to build a European photonics ecosystem. In April, Photondelta secured 1.1 billion euro in public and private investment to scale up production, build 200 startups, create new applications for photonic chips and develop infrastructure and talent.