PALO ALTO and EMERYVILLE, Calif., Nov. 7, 2018 — Ayar Labs, a company that improves the speed and energy efficiency of high performance computing systems with silicon chips that transmit data using light, has raised a $24M Series A to commercialize their high-speed connectivity solution. Their optical chiplet will be integrated in the existing multi-chip-module ecosystem, enabling high-bandwidth, low-latency, low-power optical communications directly from partner chips.
“When we first met the Ayar team, we were incredibly impressed by the team’s talent and results to date. They’ve built a world class technical team and have forged several strong partnerships. We’re thrilled to partner with them to help bring their high performance interconnect solution to market,” said Matt Hershenson, Co-Founder of Playground Global.” Other participants in the round include Founders Fund, GlobalFoundries, and Intel Capital.
“The Series A investment is a big step towards enabling optical I/O for next-generation computing architectures, and prepares the company to reach scale production” says Ayar Labs co-founder and President Mark Wade.
“As we enter this next phase in our company’s growth, we are thrilled to be adding such strong investors with deep roots and expertise in the semiconductor and microelectronics industry,” says Ayar Labs co-founder and CEO Alex Wright-Gladstein.
Ayar Labs will unleash the performance of modern multi-chip modules and their processor, accelerator, or other high-performance chips, by bringing photonic signaling to digital microelectronics. While the amount of processing power on chips has grown exponentially with Moore’s Law, the technology that moves data in and out of chips has not kept pace. The Ayar Labs technology is a unique silicon photonics approach that uses fiber optic technology to move data between chips, rather than traditional copper pins and wires. It delivers improvements of 10x more bandwidth and 10x lower power compared to electrical interconnections.
About Ayar Labs
Ayar Labs is making computing faster and more energy efficient by using light to move data between chips instead of electricity. The company is replacing copper with optical I/O from silicon chips to improve speed and energy efficiency in computing by removing bottlenecks in moving data. The company was formed by the inventors of the first microprocessor chip to communicate using light at MIT, UC Berkeley, and CU Boulder, a breakthrough that was the result of a 10-year research collaboration funded by DARPA. For more information, visit www.ayarlabs.com or follow @AyarLabs.
About Playground Global
Playground Global was established in 2015 to create a new type of investment firm — built by and for engineers and technologists. Playground focuses on entrepreneurs working on deep technology sectors as well as game-changing consumer and enterprise products. Playground has over $800 million under management to back the brightest and boldest teams building the companies and industries of tomorrow.
About Founders Fund
Founders Fund invests in science and technology companies solving difficult problems. The firm has been an early backer of some of the most impactful companies of the past decade, including SpaceX, Palantir, Facebook and Airbnb. Founders Fund pursues a founder-friendly investment strategy, providing maximum support with minimum interference. More information can be found at www.foundersfund.com.
GlobalFoundries is a leading full-service semiconductor foundry providing a unique combination of design, development, and fabrication services to some of the world’s most inspired technology companies. With a global manufacturing footprint spanning three continents, GlobalFoundries makes possible the technologies and systems that transform industries and give customers the power to shape their markets. GlobalFoundries is owned by Mubadala Investment Company. For more information, visit http://www.globalfoundries.com.
About Intel Capital
Intel Capital invests in innovative startups targeting artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, datacenter and cloud, 5G, next-generation compute and a wide range of other disruptive technologies. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested US $12.3 billion in 1,544 companies worldwide, and more than 660 portfolio companies have gone public or participated in a merger. Intel Capital curates thousands of business development introductions each year between its portfolio companies and the Global 2000.
Source: Ayar Labs