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Image: Robert Bosch

Chinese LiDAR developer ABAX Sensing has completed a follow-on round of financing, led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC). Other investors include China tech firm Orbbec and GSR Capital. RBVC’s managing director, Dr Ingo Ramesohl, said in a statement that this “underlines our excitement in the disruptive approach of ABAX for the next-generation LiDAR”.

ABAX has developed a full solid-state chip LiDAR for autonomous driving applications and advanced driver assistance systems. This is said to offer low costs as well as proprietary anti-interference technology to ward off interference from other LiDAR devices and disturbances from ambient light.

Dr Hongquan Jiang, investment partner at RBVC, noted: “The integration and cost reduction of LiDAR technology is inevitable to realize large-scale applications. LiDAR is one of the few hardware components that has huge potential for technological development. Therefore, RBVC is investing in ABAX’s full solid-state technology for the next sensor generation.”

Robert Bosch forms MEMS timing partnership

RBVC parent company Robert Bosch GmbH has also recently formed a key strategic technology partnership. This is with SiTime Corporation, a provider of MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) timing solutions for synchronization and connectivity of electronic devices. The partnership will develop processes for next-generation MEMS resonator products for 5G, IoT and other automotive electronics, promising high-speed 5G connectivity, long-life batteries for IoT devices, and more reliable driver assistance systems, Bosch claims.

Rajesh Vashist, SiTime CEO, pointed out in a statement: “Over the next decade, the 5G, IoT and automotive markets will drive the growth of the timing industry by creating a 200 billion unit opportunity. Automation, communications, and computing applications in these markets will require more features, higher accuracy and reliability from timing components.”

Jens Fabrowsky, executive vice president of Automotive Electronics, Robert Bosch, added: “Stable, reliable MEMS timing devices are needed for successful operation of new, high-bandwidth 5G, IoT and driver assistance systems. Without ultra-precise timing, the benefits and opportunities for next generation systems will not be achieved… This partnership will make possible unique new features and mission-critical services in 5G, IoT, and automotive applications.”

-Farah Alkhalisi