Monday, August 17, 2020

Lightmatter is developing a photonic processor

Lightmatter, a start-up based in Boston, will unveil plans for an artificial intelligence (AI) photonic processor.

Lightmatter said its general-purpose AI inference accelerator will use light to compute and transport data. The 3D-stacked chip package contains over a billion FinFET transistors, tens of thousands of photonic arithmetic units, and hundreds of record-setting data converters. Lightmatter’s photonic processor runs standard machine learning frameworks including PyTorch and TensorFlow, enabling state-of-the-art AI algorithms.

“The Department of Energy estimates that by 2030, computing and communications technology will consume more than 8 percent of the world’s power. Transistors, the workhorse of traditional processors, aren’t improving; they’re simply too hot. Building larger and larger datacenters is a dead end path along the road of computational progress,” said Nicholas Harris, PhD, founder and CEO at Lightmatter. “We need a new computing paradigm. Lightmatter’s optical processors are dramatically faster and more energy efficient than traditional processors. We’re simultaneously enabling the growth of computing and reducing its impact on our planet.”

On August 18th, Lightmatter’s VP of Engineering, Carl Ramey, will present their photonic processor architecture at HotChips32.