Better laser diodes, arrays is goal of startup TriLumina

Feb. 22, 2011
Santa Rose, CA and Reno, NV--A group of investors and Nevada laser scientists aim to build a platform for next-generation laser chips with greater speed and power than today's chips, yet with a smaller footprint.

Santa Rose, CA and Reno, NV--Startup TriLumina, with a dual presence in Santa Rosa and Reno, is delving into the esoteric world of semiconductor-level laser diodes, digital and ganged laser diode arrays, and epitaxial wafer architecture. A group of Sonoma County investors and Nevada laser scientists aim to build a platform for the deployment of next-generation laser chips, capable of speeds and power far greater than today's laser chips, yet with a smaller footprint.

"We already have a prototype in the lab and we're six to nine months away from actual deployment. This is the most exciting project I’ve ever been involved in," said Trilumina's major investor Richard Neumann, a Sonoma County entrepreneur who has also held financial positions at Henkel and Fibex.

Nuclear physicist Rudi Wiedemann and Stanford electrical engineering Ph.D Kevin Lear started to build a high-end laser video projection display, then realized their technology could support a much broader range of applications. "What we're building will be used by companies like JDS Uniphase, Raydiance and telecom equipment makers," said Neumann. The company has applied for eight patents on the technology, and intends to file for six to eight more within the year.

TriLumina is not alone working in advancing laser technology. Princeton Optronics is doing something similar with laser diode technology. "They're using the same type of laser we are, but the technology behind it is different. We think ours is better," said Neumann. Also on board at TriLumina are chief engineer John Joseph, with expertise in the design and fabrication of ultra-fast laser arrays, and investor Cindy Brillhart-True of True Financial Services in Sonoma.

Neumann and Brillhart, with other private investors, put up about $500,000 in seed money. TriLumina is now in talks with major capital investment firms to raise a series A of about $3.5 million. Currently the company, with four core employees and about six advisers, is split between Santa Rosa, where its CFO and investors are located, and Reno, where the scientific team lives. A final location has not been decided on.

SOURCE:North Bay Business Journal;

Posted by:Gail Overton

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