Ayar Labs announces new funding to support optical I/O roadmap

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Ayar Labs, a specialist in silicon photonics for chip-to-chip connectivity, has raised an additional $25 million in Series C1 funding, bringing its total Series C raise to $155 million.

Oversubscribed, this round of funding was led by new investor Capital TEN. VentureTech Alliance also entered the Series C expansion that included participation by previous investors Boardman Bay Capital Management, IAG Capital Partners, NVIDIA, and Tyche Partners.

Existing strategic and financial investors include Applied Ventures, GlobalFoundries, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, Intel Capital and Lockheed Martin Ventures.

Ayar Labs’ optical I/O approach uses industry-standard, cost-effective silicon processing techniques to replace traditional electrical I/O with fast, high-density, low power optical I/O chiplets and multi-wavelength light sources.

Moving data between chips using light instead of electricity breaks the performance, power, and distance limitations associated with copper interconnect, andi s seen as critical for latency-sensitive applications such as high-performance computing, AI and machine learning. Optical I/O will also impact other areas that require rapid transfer of data, such as cloud and data centre, telecommunications, and aerospace and defence.

“We’re extremely pleased with the ongoing interest and financing we’ve received from leaders in the semiconductor industry,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs. “This C1 adds sophisticated investor partners that will allow us to accelerate our strategic roadmap and is further validation of our technology and plan to bring silicon photonics-based interconnect solutions to market at scale.”

Ayar Labs said that it would use the funds to accelerate the implementation and commercialisation of its optical I/O solutions, while also expanding the company's product offerings and development efforts. 

NVIDIA, which participated in Ayar Labs’ earlier Series C raise in April 2022, increased its investment in the company.

“NVIDIA is reimagining the data centre with integrated hardware, software and networking for accelerated computing,” said Craig Thompson, Vice President of Business Development, Networking Business Unit at NVIDIA. “Generative AI models with trillions of parameters are accelerating demand for this platform, which is why we are increasing our investment in Ayar Labs.”  

The funds will also help the company increase hiring plans by up to 50 percent this year.