Lightmatter, a photonics startup, has raised $154m in a Series C funding round to facilitate faster artificial intelligence (AI) computing using light.
SIP Global, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Viking Global Investors, GV (Google Ventures), HPE Pathfinder and existing backers joined the round.
The round, which brings the total funding raised by Lightmatter to over $270m, has trippled its valuation, the Boston-based company said.
Lightmatter co-founder and CEO Nick Harris said: “Generative AI and supercomputing will be transformed by photonic technologies in the coming years, and our investors, partners, and customers are aligned with Lightmatter’s mission of enabling the future of computing infrastructure with photonics.”
With the proliferation of generative AI, the cost and energy required to run these systems is rising exponentially, leading to bottlenecks, Lightmatter explained.
To address this limitation, Lightmatter is launching its photonics-enabled products that will include a full stack of hardware and software solutions to help clients access photonic computing and interconnect technologies.
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An interconnect chip, called Passage, and Envise, a system that uses light to do computing tasks are among the products that Lightmatter is planning to launch.
The company plans to use the funding to offer these technologies to customers including cloud providers and semiconductor companies.
GV general partner Erik Nordlander said: “Photonic technology has the potential to meet the demand of today’s artificial intelligence compute workloads. Lightmatter is taking a differentiated approach by using silicon photonics and bringing together a deeply technical team to further its mission.”
Last month, Ayar Labs, another photonics chip startup, extended its Series C funding round to $155m.
NVIDIA-backed Ayar Labs has developed a technology that uses light to transfer data between chips.