KYOCERA SLD Laser

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.

History

2013

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

2014

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

2015

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

2016

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

2017

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

2018

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

2019

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

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

2020

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

Bio

Dr. Paul Rudy is a Co-Founder, CMO, and SVP of Business Development at SLD Laser, a leader in the commercialization of GaN based laser light sources. Paul has worked in the field of photonics for more than 20 years, and has extensive experience in photonics general management, technical product marketing, business development, and product management. Prior to SLD, Paul worked as Director of Marketing at Coherent, the world's largest commercial laser manufacturer, specifically working to commercialize laser devices based on gallium arsenide. 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 50 patents and has authored more than 40 technical marketing papers and conference talks.

10 years, Photonics GM & Operations leadership
>200 patents in lasers
1st true green CW LD

Bio

Dr. James Raring is President, Chief Operating Officer, and a Co-Founder of SLD Laser.  As President and COO, he leads the organization in the commercialization of LaserLight products based on SLD’s breakthrough gallium nitride laser diode technology and manufacturing platform. Prior to SLD, 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 200 patents and applications and has authored or co-authored over 100 technical papers and conference presentations.

Paul Rudy
SVP BD, Co-Founder, CMO
Rafael Anza
Dietmar Zapf
Dietmar Zapf
COO

25 yrs in finance
Intel, Vitesse
Crocus, Cypress

Bio

Rafael is responsible for the financial management of SLD Laser.
He brings over 25 years of corporate and operational finance experience to the SLD business, having worked in corporations such as Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. He has over 20 years of semiconductor manufacturing and R&D finance experience and has successfully led as Finance Director for a fabless semiconductor company in a turnaround mode. SLD is his second startup.

Raised in Mexico, Rafael brings relevant international experience to our corporation. He holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA in Business Administration from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM), with a focus on Finance and Entrepreneurship.

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

Bio

Dietmar Zapf brings 20+ years of Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Operations management experience to 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 SLD 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.

Rafael Alva
VP Finance

Careers

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

Shenzhen

Silicon Valley

Los Angeles

Munich

Tokyo

Shanghai

Tucson

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.