Dr Victor Liu, Chairman and CEO
“Innovation is the only way to win.” – Steve Jobs.
Amid the multiple chaos and disruptions happening across industries, the force that empowers businesses to stay ahead of the pack is innovation, which Jobs had indeed envisaged ahead of its time. This holds across sectors ranging from electronics to software and more. Particularly in the semiconductor industry that is regarded as the backbone of some of the significant systems ranging from artificial intelligent devices to IoT backed machinery, innovation has a crucial role in pushing out new technologies and products. In this highly complex semiconductor industry, a company that has noted this succeeding factor is Focuslight Technologies, an expert in developing high power diode lasers and micro-optics to power various photonic applications.
“At its core, Focuslight is the perfect amalgamation of innovation, manufacturing excellence, and quick response,” notes Dr. Victor Liu, Chairman and CEO of Focuslight Technologies. The company’s extensive engineering expertise has provided top-notch semiconductor solutions to clients across verticals that bring impeccable results. With a team of global experts in the semiconductor industry, the company is well-versed in essential problem-solving skills by understanding client challenges and bringing innovation to its solutions. Focuslight invests 20 per cent of its revenue in R&D activities to stay abreast of market trends. In its quest for constant innovation, Focuslight acquired LIMO in 2017, a leading manufacturer of micro-optics, fiber coupled modules, optical systems, and new photonics technologies, to go beyond providing diode lasers to offer micro-optics components. Today, Focuslight has extended its presence in China, U.S., and Germany with four major businesses, including diode laser, laser optics, automotive application (LiDAR), and optical systems.
Focuslight works closely with customers to deliver well-tailored solutions with diode lasers, laser optics, photonic application modules and optical systems that help customers innovate, grow, and succeed. On an equal footing, the company focuses on providing a high-value product without compromising quality to ensure manufacturing excellence. With the promise of innovation and manufacturing excellence, the company meets client demands faster to respond quickly to its competitors. “Our experts have experience in applying lean manufacturing practices to reduce the cycle time and drive a higher yield at a lower cost,” states Liu. The helmsman of the company, Liu is a veteran of the semiconductor industry, leveraging ten years of extensive research and management experience garnered from numerous American companies.
Focuslight’s products and services cover photon generation with diode lasers and photon control with micro-optics. The company provides photonics application solutions by integrating photon generation, control, and electronics to fulfil clients’ demands. For instance, to develop LiDAR applications in the automotive industry, the company can provide a light source with different wavelengths and power levels through automotive-grade design and packaging various laser light sources such as PLD, laser bar, VCSEL, and solid-state laser. The company also offers optical components for LiDAR applications such as wide-angle diffusers that are perfect partners for various types of light sources such as collimated light sources, diverged light sources, and light source arrays. The diffusers can diffuse the laser beam in one direction so that the exit angle of the beam can be more than 100 degrees, max. 160 degrees. When used in combination with a second diffuser, the beam is diffused at an angle in the other direction, shaping the beam into a uniform rectangular field of view. Next, Focuslight can integrate light generation and control in a single Flash LiDAR product -- LiDAR Tx F AL01 that operates at an output wavelength of 1064 nm.
The built-in 2x wide-angle diffusers can form a field angle of 125° x 25° or 60° x 45° or flexible angles according to the customer’s needs. Focuslight also offers a 905nm LiDAR linear light source transmitter module. This module integrates a 905nm laser, a PCB driver and beam shaping optics, which serves as laser source of a beam steering LiDAR system and will have its line beam scanned across desired entire FOV by a rotating mirror or MEMS. The company enables clients to reduce costs in terms of design and manufacturing excellence.
Defining Manufacturing Excellence
In 2019, Focuslight was awarded with a volume supply contract with an automotive tier 1 customer for its first automotive LiDAR project which has entered SOP now.
Focuslight is certified for established IATF 16949 quality system and has passed VDA 6.3 audit in 2020. Thanks to the experience of this automotive-grade massive production project, Focuslight has successfully applied the lean manufacturing practices, which are common practices in automotive industry, to both its automotive application production line as well as its conventional laser and optics production lines.
By incorporating a philosophy of absolute customer focus, zero tolerance of waste, and continuous improvement, as well as adopting automation and advanced production management system, it enables Focuslight multiple manufacturing plants to achieve operational excellence, with significantly reduced cycle time, improved manufacturing efficiency, and lowered RMA yield and manufacturing cost.
Our experts have experience in applying lean manufacturing practices to reduce the cycle time and leverage AI to drive a higher yield at a lower cost, without compromising quality
“Our experts have experience in applying lean manufacturing practices to reduce the cycle time and leverage AI to drive a higher yield at a lower cost, without compromising quality” says Liu.
Multiple Industries, Multiple Solutions
The company offers high-grade, high-damage-threshold precision glass optics for fiber laser pumping modules with complete flexibility of customization. Owing to its highly productive wafer-based manufacturing technology, Focuslight can produce tens of thousands of lenses from high-grade glass and crystal in a single process step, with a consistently high level of quality.
In fact, Focuslight’s refractive micro-optics like deep lens profiles for large angles (hyper NA), low non-uniformity (in the order of 1%), and a broad range of applicable materials (glasses, crystals, semiconductors) have provided numerous advantages to leading semiconductor equipment manufacturers. Focuslight’s micro-optical solutions help the semiconductor industry to gain the best precision and resolution for their own production. With these solutions, Focuslight has significantly contributed to enable optical lithographic production of sub 30 nm technology node.
Focuslight also equips its clients with laser annealing technology, which is essential in the fabrication of 28nm and below logic chips. The company’s DLight S series semiconductor wafer annealing system can be applied to the front process of semiconductor to complete dynamic surface annealing (DSA) and laser peaking annealing (LSA). The company’s Activation Line UV-L is used for fast damage-free lift-off of flexible OLED panels from an intermediate supporting glass at one of the last production steps. The OLED displays are of superior property as compared to LCD panels.
Thanks to the transition from LCD to OLED displays in smartphones, wearables and recently automotive displays the market for laser-based display production technologies shows a high double-digit growth rate over the next decade. The systems are characterized by high performance, reliability, availability, cost structure, onsite service, innovative product line-up, and short delivery time. Focuslight also offers innovative super-Gaussian (sGauß) short axis profile, which add a new USP to its Activation Line portfolio. It significantly improves the efficiency (throughput) and quality of the lift-off process itself. Moreover, the introduction of the sGauß short axis profile is a key step to enter the even large equipment market for low-temperature laser Si annealing (Solid State Laser Annealing, SLA).
In the field of healthcare, Focuslight makes its mark in laser hair removal and body sculpting solutions. Focuslight provides high-end diode laser products and turn-key solutions for laser hair removal to customers worldwide. Focuslight’s light beams penetrate the skin surface and reach the hair follicle, where the hair shaft absorbs the light. By thermal effect, hair follicles are disabled and cannot regenerate without the surrounding tissues being damaged. “Our laser hair removal products include Vshiny series lasers based on microchannel cooling technology, Vsilk series lasers based on conduction cooling technology, LPS series power supplies and F-pure series filter cartridges,” says Liu.
The philosophy of Focuslight is to do what we do best and to commit to customers
In the same vein, the company’s laser body sculpting solution penetrates the skin to reach the fat layer and selectively heats the fat cells to collapse them into fatty acids and glycerol to be metabolized by the body. As a result, the company’s technology helps reduce fat cells and tone the body. “Focuslight offers complete solutions for laser fat reduction so that our customers in healthcare can enter into the market more quickly,” says Liu. Focuslight’s non-invasive laser fat reduction modules are developed under independent intellectual property rights and delivered with integrated laser light source, beam shaper, semiconductor cooling and skin contact monitor.
Focuslight’s expertise extends into the consumer electronics sector with its vast array of 3D sensing and telecommunication solutions. With the development of image sensors from 2D to 3D, the scalability of mobile phones, AR, and other applications becomes higher and higher with the introduction of depth information. It is a major trend of sensor development from 2D to 3D in the future. Here, the company’s micro-optical components play a vital role in these applications. For telecommunication, Focuslight’s micro-optic lenses provide solutions for coupling signals from laser sources to the fiber communication system with high transmission efficiencies to help achieve communication.
The Go-to Photonics Solution Provider
Imbibed in a culture of passion, persistence, and patience, Focuslight is committed to providing the best solutions to its customers. By equipping customers with reliable, high-performance laser products and superior service, Focuslight aims to become a trusted global photonics solution provider. Focuslight’s unique ability to combine photon generation and control is creating ripples in the semiconductor industry. “The philosophy of Focuslight is to do what we do best and to commit to customers,” concludes Liu.