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Ray T. Chen, Founder, and CTO, Omega Optics

Omega Optics: Connecting the World

With actively being involved in the optical communications/sensing field, Omega Optics has developed an array of products by conducting various research and developments to gain a vantage position to pursue an aggressive commercialization strategy.
Implementing technologies such as portable bio-sensing, polymer-based planar lightwave circuits for EM-wave sensing, chemical and biological sensing, and nanophotonics for integrated photonic circuits are core technologies of Omega Optics.
Ray T. Chen, the Founder and CTO of the company, demonstrates his experience with his extensive knowledge and skill in Photolithography, Laser Physics, Research and Development (R&D), Physics, and Integrated Photonic Circuits (IPC). Strong information technology professional with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) focused in Integrated Photonics and Optoelectronics from the Department of Electrical Engineering, The University of California.  Ray Chen is a Fellow of IEEE, Optica and the international society of optical engineering.  He has published over 1,000 research articles with 76 patents.
We at Insights Success came across Omega Optics in our endeavor to find “The 10 Most Disruptive Companies in Semiconductor Industry.” We talked with Ray to understand the passionate focus on various aspects of his business.
Below are the highlights of the interview.
Give us a brief overview of your company, its mission, and the key aspects of its strong foothold in the Semiconductor industry.
Omega Optics is a company located in Austin, Texas. It is a high-tech research firm focusing on silicon and III-V-based photonic chips for various applications, including interconnects, computing, and biochemical sensing. We are a silicon photonics IC design house with chips fabricated in AIM, IMEC, Global foundry, and others. Our company has ~ 30 US patents covering RF photonics, Silicon lab-on-chip biosensors, spectroscopy sensing, and optical computing.
Describe your top-notch offerings that address the need of your customers. We have an open platform.
We have a lab-on-chip sensing platform with TRL level 6 defined by NASA. It can be used for COVID-19 biomarker detection using a silicon photonic chip. It has a higher sensitivity without compromising specificity. It is an open platform suitable for various biomarker detections, including breast cancer, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer, and various antibiotics.
What makes your company a preferred choice among your clientele over other competitors?
We built a portable biosensing system while the others, such as Genalyte and GE, are desktop systems. We can bring the bio-sensing system to the remote and primitive areas. Namely, we can bring the hospital to the patients instead of bringing the patients to the hospital. Also, due to the unique patent portfolio, we can provide better sensing sensitivity without compromising the specificity.  Finally, it is an lab-on-chip open sensing system suitable for all biomarker detections.
Describe the values that drive your organization.
We have ~ 30 patents protecting our inventions. And we will continue doing so to boost the valuation of the company. Our dream is that in the future, the devices we invented in our lab can appear in your living room to significantly improve the quality of life. We plan to raise private funding or also through early-stage IPO to raise needed funding for commercialization.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful? 
The patented lab-on-chip sensor on silicon platform has two advantages:

  1. The chip is made out of Silicon CMOS which is mass-producible with cost-effectiveness.
  2. The bio-sensing platform is an open platform suitable for all kinds of biomarker detections. We have patents and publications covering many biomarker detections already.
  3. We are in the process of raising 10 million dollars from strategic investors. If your channel has a connection, help connect.

In your opinion, what could be the future of the Semiconductor market post the COVID-19 pandemic? And how are you strategizing your company’s operations for that future?
It will continue booming since more state-of-the-art systems will require silicon chips, both electronics, and photonics, as the driving force.  And the current shortage in the supply chain of silicon chips for high tech industry is a clear indication of the importance of the semiconductor industry.
In what ways have you or your company contributed to the community?
Provide quality silicon chip-based devices for lab-on-chip sensing that is capable of improving the quality of life.  It is our goal to provide quality service to improve the life longevity and security for the years to come
Reports on Omega Optics COVID-19 detection on various media:
Texas Local News Paper Daily Texans:
Mr. Chen said the device’s ability to detect viruses and cancers in the early stages is important because it gives patients and health professionals the ability to fight back before it progresses to a late stage.
In UT university news announcement, Ray Chen said, “Instead of having to bring people to hospitals, which isn’t always doable in remote areas, we can bring the hospital to the people.”
The research team has created a prototype of the diagnostic platform with the goal of bringing it to market. The researchers have worked on the platform for more than seven years, and they compared their approach with other cutting-edge testing techniques in a new paper published in Applied Physics Review, co-written with researchers at Austin-based Omega Optics, a startup founded by Chen that makes photonics components.
Science Daily Optical techniques offer fast, efficient COVID-19 detection: Without rapid point-of-care testing, the pandemic will likely continue to evolve – ScienceDaily
News in America Institute of Physics.
CBS Evening News TV interview.