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TDK invests in GaN laser light firm SLD Laser


Soraa spin-off gets $50 million towards commercialising next generation of visible laser light sources

TDK Corporation has announced that its subsidiary TDK Ventures has added to its portfolio of companies with a $50 million investment in SLD Laser, a spin-off from the LED lighting company Soraa Inc.

SLD Laser is TDK Ventures’ third investment since its July 2019 launch with a mission to invest its expertise in innovative materials science, energy, power and related areas for a sustainable world where digital and energy transformation will improve billions of lives.

SLD Laser was cofounded in 2013 by a group of pioneers in solid state lighting: Shuji Nakamura (2014 Nobel Laureate in Physics and father of modern LED lighting), Steve Denbaars, James Raring, and Paul Rudy. The company holds an IP portfolio with over 500 patents. Their recently released products are more than ten times brighter than today’s LED lights, capable of illuminating objects one kilometer away while using less power than traditional technology.

SLD Laser's Beyond Lighting technology combines dynamic illumination with high-resolution sensing and ultra-high speed LiFi communication. SLD Laser products are used in a myriad of applications including automotive, mobility, specialty and portable lighting, entertainment and outdoor, projection and AR/VR displays, biomedical instrumentation, therapeutics, industrial imaging, and material processing.

"TDK is the perfect strategic partner," said Steve Denbaars, CEO and cofounder at SLD Laser. "Their vision of digital and energy transformation matches our vision of developing real-world applications for intelligent illumination, sensing, and communication that weren’t thought possible. We have already identified a number of areas where TDK will help us pioneer the future of light faster."

TDK Ventures’ MD Nicolas Sauvage added: "We look for fundamental solutions to the hardest problems, and offer our expertise, experience and industry connections to startups and growth phase companies to help them more quickly achieve their full potential to make a positive world impact. SLD Laser is a true pioneer in innovative and meaningful applications leveraging semipolar GaN materials, and we are very impressed by their team and their ambitious roadmap of a wide spectrum of applications around the future of light. We look forward to contributing to their success in the coming months and years."

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