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LaserLight delivered

Our Mission

KYOCERA SLD Laser is pioneering the future of light. New ideas are being harnessed to realize tomorrow’s product innovations. We are building light that goes beyond expectations in illumination and adds functionality in ways that weren’t thought possible – until now.

LaserLight, the world’s brightest and most innovative light source.

The next generation in lighting has arrived, shining brighter and farther than ever before. In the last decade, LED enabled a new generation of lighting that changed everything. Now, LaserLight outshines the limits of LED to deliver safe, high luminance white light from an incredibly small point source. LaserLight doesn’t just offer superior technology, it’s enabling entirely new opportunities.

We are commercializing revolutionary semi-polar GaN LaserLight for the next generation of display, automotive, and specialty applications.  LaserLight sources are used directly in single color and R-G-B applications, or integrated into laser pumped phosphor architectures.

As an independent spin-off from Soraa Inc, SLD Laser was founded in 2013 by several leading global pioneers in solid state lighting, including Dr. Shuji Nakamura, a 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physics for his groundbreaking work with LEDs, Dr. Steve Denbaars, Dr. James Raring, and Dr. Paul Rudy. Our laser technology incorporates a robust intellectual property portfolio of over 500 patents. SLD Laser was acquired by KYOCERA Corporation and has commenced operations as a Kyocera group company under the name KYOCERA SLD Laser, Inc.



SLD Laser established as a spin-out independent company with world renowned financial and strategic shareholders and >500 patents.


SLD Laser CTO wins Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the blue LED, SLD demonstrates high power Semi-polar GaN laser diode.


SLD demonstrates LaserLight technology as next generation solid state lighting technology for Auto and Lighting.


SLD achieves product performance and initiates sample shipments for auto and lighting, establishes long term development and supply agreements.


SLD achieves automotive quality certifications IATF 16949 and ISO 9001, Pre-production deliveries commence.


SLD achieves safety certifications UL and IEC for production launch into auto and commercial lighting. High volume LaserLight production lines established.


SLD ramps production of LaserLight products for automotive, specialty lighting, and display.

Achieves first precision sensing and high speed LiFi communications technology demonstrations.


SLD honored with the #7 spot on FORTUNE’s list of Best Small and Medium Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production.

Announcement that KYOCERA Corporation reached agreement to acquire SLD Laser.

Our leadership

Paul Rudy
James Raring
James Raring
President and CEO, Co-Founder

20 years, Laser industry corporate development
Specialty Illumination
Product Mktg, Strategy


Dr. Paul Rudy is a Co-founder, CMO, and SVP of Business Development at KYOCERA SLD Laser (KSLD), a leader in the commercialization of GaN based laser light sources for automotive, specialty lighting, industrial, health care, and defense/security applications. Paul has worked in the field of photonics for more than 25 years leading laser innovations to market, and has deep experience in photonics business general management, technical product marketing, business development, and product management. Prior to KSLD, Paul worked as Director of Marketing at Coherent, the world's largest commercial laser manufacturer. Dr. Rudy received his doctoral degree in physics from the University of Rochester, MBA from USC, and undergraduate physics B.S. from Duke University. He has over 100 patents and has authored more than 50 technical marketing papers and conference talks.

10 years, Photonics GM & Operations leadership
>300 patents in lasers
1st true green CW LD


Dr. James Raring is President, Chief Executive Officer, and a Co-Founder of KYOCERA SLD Laser.  As President and CEO, he leads the organization in the commercialization of LaserLight products based on KSLD’s breakthrough gallium nitride laser diode technology and manufacturing platform. Prior to KSLD, Dr. Raring was VP of Laser Engineering and a founding employee at Soraa Inc. where he helped launch the company and grow it to product and commercialization.  Previous to Soraa, Dr. Raring served as a Senior Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories in the Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) group developing high-functionality optoelectronic devices for telecom applications. While earning his Ph.D. in Materials Science and serving as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Dr. Raring developed an advanced photonic integration platform based on indium phosphide to demonstrate the world’s first single-chip 40 Gb/s optical transceiver. Dr. Raring has over 300 patents and applications and has authored or co-authored over 100 technical papers and conference presentations.

Paul Rudy
SVP BD, Co-Founder, CMO
Dietmar Zapf
Dietmar Zapf
Dietmar Zapf

30 years in the fields of QA, Engineering,
Marketing, Business Development, M & A
GaN Device division of Kyocera Japan


Takaki Otsubo has been with Kyocera for over 30 years in the fields of QA, Engineering, Marketing, Business Development, M & A, etc. He has over 7 years of experience as a Marketing Manager at Kyocera Germany. He has also performed multiple M & A as a Project Leader. He has been SVP and CSO of Kyocera SLD Laser since June 2021 and is also responsible for the GaN Device division of Kyocera Japan.

20 yrs in supply chain
Coherent, Kaiam, Santur
LED & Semiconductors


Dietmar Zapf brings 20+ years of Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Operations management experience to KYOCERA SLD Laser. He has held senior positions in both startups and large publicly traded companies in the telecommunications, LED and Semiconductor industries. Prior to joining KSLD Laser, he was managing operations at Kaiam, Coherent, and at Santur. As Senior Supply Chain Manager at JDSU, he was responsible for transferring multiple product lines to offshore manufacturing sites. He is passionate about leading manufacturing organizations both domestically and internationally as well as transitioning startups into revenue generating companies.

Mr. Zapf was born and raised in Germany, but has lived in the Bay Area for 30 years, he graduated from UC Berkeley where he was a member of the Crew team.

Takaki Otsubo
SVP & Chief Strategy Officer


A culture of innovation

No revolutionary idea wins on value alone.  It takes many ideas and bright people working together to create a seismic shift toward a new technology solution. Pioneer the realm of possible, and join 100+ employees from 17 countries to be a part of the future of lighting.

Worldwide locations

Santa Barbara

Silicon Valley



KYOCERA SLD Laser, Inc. is ISO 9001 certified and automotive compliant to IATF 16949, and operates facilities in Santa Barbara, CA and in Fremont, CA.

UL CertifiedIEC