Altair Leads Seed Funding for Xscape Photonics with $10 Million Investment
Xscape is a startup that develops tech for photonic chips for high-bandwidth connections inside data centers and HPC systems.
January 6, 2023
Altair, a company in computational science and artificial intelligence (AI), has invested $10 million in Xscape Photonics, a startup that developed technology for photonic chips for ultrahigh-bandwidth connections inside data centers and high-performance computing (HPC) systems.
By applying photonics technology, Xscape has developed a platform that connects various computing elements in an environmentally sustainable way while offering highest possible performance, according to Altair. This approach uses photonics to reduce power consumption and heat production while increasing the speed and power of communications, all to support the increase in the amount of data transferred from chip to chip, node to node and more.
“This investment and collaboration with some of the world’s best innovators in photonics will allow us to stay at the cutting edge of such high-fidelity and advanced technologies that will help our customers solve their problems more efficiently as they look to the next generation of hardware,” says James R. Scapa, founder and chief executive officer, Altair. “Aligned with Altair’s history in embracing high-performance computing and tying our software innovation to the advancements in HPC hardware, understanding how our software can integrate with such technologies in the future will allow us to continue to push the boundaries of technology and help our customers accelerate their pace of innovation.”
The potential for photonics is significant as high-speed data transfer is also relevant for software that facilitates simulation, HPC, AI, and machine learning. In the future, more simulation and compute power will be needed to allow for greater analysis, more sustainable productivity, lowered costs, better products, and faster time to market, according to Altair. Shifting to embrace photonics will allow organizations across all sectors—including hardware, software, and product development companies—to accelerate their pace of innovation, suggests Altair.
Xscape Photonics is led by Columbia University professors and researchers in photonics, including:
- Alexander Gaeta—chief executive officer and co-founder; David M. Rickey Professor of Applied Physics at Columbia University and expert in nonlinear photonics
- Keren Bergman—co-founder; professor at Columbia University, and expert in photonic architectures for computing
- Michal Lipson—co-founder; professor at Columbia University, expertin silicon photonics, and MacArthur Fellow
- Vivek Raghunathan—co-founder; senior principal engineer, Product Architecture, Silicon Photonics Founding Team at Broadcom; led Intel’s First SiPh Product Ramp
- Yoshi Okawachi—co-founder; research scientist at Columbia University and expert in photonic frequency-comb technology
“We are proud to reinvent the future of computing by developing the most energy-efficient, high-bandwidth, and high-performance photonics technology that can scale in a sustainable way while meeting the demands of the future,” says Gaeta. “The investment and relationship with Altair will allow us to push the boundaries of our platform and integrate it with the world’s best simulation, HPC, and AI software to help customers in all industries take their innovations to new heights.”
As part of the investment, Scapa will assume a seat on Xscape Photonics’ board of directors and Altair will also secure a seat on the board of observers.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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