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Swave Photonics Takes Top Prize at 2023 SPIE Startup Challenge

Photonics Spectra - Swave Photonics Takes Top Prize at 2023 SPIE Startup Challenge

Swave Photonics, a Silicon Valley-based developer of holographic extended reality (HXR) technology, earned the $10,000 top prize in the 2023 SPIE Startup Challenge. The annual competition, now in its 13th year, was held yesterday at SPIE Photonics West. Swave CEO Mike Noonen was among 10 finalists who delivered a company pitch to a panel of six industry judges.

Swave Photonics’ holographic chips are based on the company’s proprietary diffractive photonics technology. The company has developed a spatial light modulator designed explicitly for digital holography and centers its solution on phase change memory technology.

The technology is also highly scalable to very large pixel arrays — up to 64 gigapixels (GP). Swave manufactures its HXR chips using the standard CMOS process.

According to Noonen, the ability to deliver GP resolution, paired with CMOS economics, is poised to elevate existing augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) applications by eliminating the need for bulky goggles or head-worn devices.

“Our innovation is figuring out how to have a pixel pitch that scales to the needs of holography,” Noonen said. “We are taking a semiconductor view and applying it to a photonic element.”

View the full article here.