World’s First Printable Optical Metasurface For Vision, 3D Sensing, LIDAR Now Shipping In Consumer Products

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June 8, 2022 John Koetsier Senior Contributor, Forbes

Metalenz announced today that chip giant ST Micro’s latest product incorporates its metasurface technology that puts flat lenses in consumer products like smartphones, laptops, smart home devices, even cars.

“The meta-optics collect more light, provide multiple functions in a single layer, and enable new forms of sensing in smartphones and other devices, while taking up less space,” the company said in a statement. “Metalenz’s flat-lens technology replaces certain existing optics in ST’s FlightSense ToF modules, which serve applications such as smartphones, drones, robots, and vehicles. In these, ST has sold more than 1.7 billion units to date.”

Crucially, Metalenz’ tech is printed like computer chips in silicon wafers, which means mass production at very low cost.

“We use the exact same fabs that make electronics,” Metalenz CEO Rob Devlin told me in a phone conversation. “That’s why we can go from 0 to 100s of millions of devices on-market in very small time. On a single wafer we can print 5,000 to 10,000 lenses, so we can produce tens of thousands of wafers in a week or less, and can get to a million in single day.”