Monday, March 2, 2020

Lockheed Martin Ventures invests in Ayar Labs

Lockheed Martin Ventures has made a strategic investment in Ayar Labs, a start-up that is developing  monolithic in-package optical I/O (MIPO) solution for applications that require high bandwidth, low latency and power efficient short reach interconnects. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ayar Labs publicly demonstrated its monolithic electronic photonic TeraPHY chiplet at the Supercomputing 2019 conference and is now working with select semiconductor manufacturers, OEM systems builders, and end users on sampling and co-design partnerships in 2020. The company is based in Santa Clara, California.

“We are excited to welcome Lockheed Martin Ventures as a strategic investor,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs. “Working with key system integrators like Lockheed Martin, who really understand the value of our solution and how to design it into future complex systems, is incredibly important. In that sense, we view this relationship as more than funding alone, but as an important long-term working relationship as well.”

Ayar Labs selected for Intel’s DARPA PIPES Project

Ayar Labs has been selected as Intel’s optical I/O solution partner for their recently awarded DARPA PIPES (Photonics in Package for Extreme Scalability) project.

The PIPES project aims to develop integrated optical I/O solutions co-packaged with next generation FPGA/CPU/GPU and accelerators in Multi-Chip Packages (MCP) to provide extreme data rates (input/output) at ultra-low power over much longer distances than supported by current technology. In the first phase of the project, the Ayar Labs TeraPHY chiplet will be co-packaged with an Intel FPGA using the AIB (Advanced Interconnect Bus) interface and Intel’s EMIB silicon-bridge packaging. “We’re seeing an explosion of Datacenter workloads that have an insatiable demand for bandwidth and the need to connect devices at rack-scale distances,” said Vince Hu, VP of Strategy and Innovation for Intel’s FPGA products. “The best way to do that is with optical interconnect and by using an Ayar Labs chiplet(s), we can achieve very high bandwidth at low latency and low power consumption.”

“Bringing optical connectivity all the way into the CPU/SOC package has long been one of the ‘Holy Grail’ projects in High Performance and Hyperscale Computing, as it unleashes the performance of ever more powerful computing and network processors and removes a major bottleneck and set of constraints in systems architecture and design,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs, “Moreover, the energy consumed in moving data through a system is now very significant and growing, and the best way to manage that is to move the data optically from end to end. We are pleased to be selected by Intel as the optical solution for their DARPA PIPES project and look forward to a multi-year collaboration.”

The TeraPHY chiplet is manufactured on GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 45nm platform, which enabled Ayar Labs to build a monolithic, single-die solution that integrates both electrical and optical photonic circuits and devices on a single chip.

“We have worked in close collaboration with Ayar Labs to deliver a new class of integrated electronic, photonics solutions,” said Anthony Yu, vice president of Computing and Wired Infrastructure at GF. “Going forward, we’re excited to work with the pioneers at Ayar Labs to continue disrupting the market by combining our next generation 45nm platform, targeted to future CMOS-based photonics solutions, with their differentiated technology that will push the limits of chip communication bandwidth for high-performance computing, cloud and AI applications.”

Ayar Labs also announced customer sampling of its fully integrated TeraPHY chiplet starting in early Q1 2020.