Due to digitalization, applications need to process growing volumes of data. Modern computing systems demand better data processing and transmission capabilities with higher speeds, higher energy-efficiency, and greater scalability at a lower cost of manufacturing and ownership. A diverse integration of electronics and photonics has emerged as a viable alternative. By using light to facilitate massive data movement between processors and components rather than traditional electrical cables, optical interconnects help address increasing challenges of power density, circuit miniaturization, and cost efficiency.
Co-founded in 2021 by Rohin Kumar Y, Ph.D., CEO, and Ramana V. Pamidighantam, CTO, LightSpeed specializes in building compact, modular package of opto-electronic processors and interconnects for data bandwidth intensive applications that require real-time processing. Their patent-pending technology provides free space multichannel optical bus connecting up to four processors simultaneously. Their photonic packaging uses standard semiconductor process. Offering a modular and scalable design, the “optics-to-the chip” modules can be field-configurable to support multiple applications.
“Our mission is to bring a holistic solution to the problem by leveraging our combined decades of experience in R&D in photonics, semiconductors, IC packaging and Opto-Electronic component design. By integrating photonics with processors, we strive to make data processing work up to at least ten times faster than existing technology,” said Rohin Kumar Y, CEO of LightSpeed. “Arrow has been a valuable and trusted technology partner, guiding us through our journey, from design optimization to proof of concept, testing, and production-ready supply chain services. We appreciate Arrow’s global technology ecosystem which enables us to tap into their market expertise and industry trends of the electronics world.”
Intel, one of Arrow’s long-standing technology suppliers, is among LightSpeed’s roster of mentors. Taking part in Intel’s startup program, LightSpeed has received mentoring and technical support to their FPGA computing architecture.
“We believe LightSpeed is working on a solution that will be essential for computing in the near future. We share the comprehensive details and application information of FPGA, field programmable gate arrays. It helps form the foundation for solution framework,” said Arvindh Rajasekharan, Intel’s startup program mentor. “We also provide our technical mentoring and feedback, which is crucial in the early stages of the system architecture”.
To support local start-ups community in their idea-to-prototype-to-manufacturing journey, Arrow has established the NTU-Arrow Invent Lab in collaboration with the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore since April 2022. NTU-Arrow Invent Lab acts as an innovation and experimental platform where technology start-ups develop ideas, unleash creativity, and bring their inventions to life as they tap into Arrow’s global resources. LightSpeed has used the NTU-Arrow Invent Lab’s equipment to test and consult and collaborate with Arrow. Arrow engineers and technical experts have provided recommendations and advice to help LightSpeed make the solution happen, including:
- Electronic-Photonic Integration: Proposing suitable components to meet customer requirements to enable high data rate optics instead of copper in the 3D package to enhance performance for the high critical operational needs of data centers together with I/O system design, and interposer fabrication.
- Matching the Right Expert: Introducing suitable design partners to support customers with their design requirements and support throughout the whole journey – fabrication, assembly, validation and packaging.
- Accelerating Time-to-market: Providing the NTU-Arrow Invent Lab environment and equipment required for testing with instruments – power supplies, oscilloscope, signal, and spectrum analyzer to streamline the turnaround time and processes during the prototype stage
“At Arrow, we are constantly seeking ways to help innovators bring their forward-thinking technologies and solutions to the market faster and in a much more cost-effective manner,” said Natarajan MM, Arrow Electronics’ vice president of South Asia. “We are excited to extend our global technology supplier ecosystem, best-in-class design tools and resources, and engineering expertise to LightSpeed as they commercialize their next generation opto-electronic embedded products offerings, aiming at delivering high bandwidth and high-performance benefits at a lower carbon footprint for data-intensive applications.”