The government of Canada dropped a CA$3.2 million investment into Montreal-based One Silicon Chip Photonics (OSCP), a developer of optical and navigation sensors for autonomous vehicles, on Nov. 30.
OSCP will use the investment to develop lighter, lower-cost inertial navigation sensors for future autonomous vehicles and drones. The new sensors will offer higher precision in detecting moving objects to improve the safety and accuracy of self-driving vehicles.
The investment objective goal is to improve autonomous vehicle tech so more can be put on the road. Under certain conditions, autonomous vehicles can be more efficient. The sensors could also be used in mobile robotics, spacecrafts, delivery bots, and various consumer products. Some of OSCP’s partners include Thales, Silicon Catalyst, and McGill University.
Richard Williston, director of operations at One Silicon Chip Photonics, said in the press release that the investment will be able to remove technology barriers for the autonomous future.
The funding was made through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a government-backed initiative to drive cleantech innovations in the country. So far, SDTC has invested more than $1.38 billion in 460 companies. According to the organization’s website, the companies in the program have collectively eliminated around 22.4 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions.
In certain chips, copper-based circuits are generating too much heat for today’s shrinking chips to dissipate effectively. To mitigate this, some chip manufacturers have turned to silicon photonics, a technique to build circuits using photons and optical fibres instead of electrons and copper wires. For the most part, silicon photonics complements traditional copper wire circuitry.