9 November 2020
Ayar Labs raises $35m in Series B funding
Ayar Labs of Santa Clara, CA, USA (which was founded in 2015) has completed a $35m Series B financing round co-led by Downing Ventures and BlueSky Capital. New investors include Applied Ventures LLC, Castor Ventures, Downing Ventures (UK) and SGInnovate (Singapore), expanding the investor base with strategic ecosystem and global investors. Existing investor participation includes BlueSky Capital, Founders Fund, GlobalFoundries, Intel Capital, Lockheed Martin Ventures, and Playground Global.
With the new investment, Ayar aims to accelerate product development and commercialization of its in-package optical interconnect (I/O) solution, as well as grow the firm’s footprint internationally.
Ayar’s patented approach uses industry-standard silicon processing techniques to develop high-speed, high-density, low-power optical-based interconnect ‘chiplets’ and lasers, with a 1000x improvement in interconnect bandwidth density at 10x lower power driving the replacement of traditional electrical-based I/O.
Optical I/O (OIO) is said to solve the major computing bottlenecks in interconnect bandwidth, power consumption and reach. Removing these bottlenecks enables new system architectures that can bring improvements in power, performance, area and cost beyond the limits of traditional Moore’s Law scaling in important applications such as artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, cloud, telecommunications, and aerospace.
“Over the last year, we have continued to invest and grow our organization, and have demonstrated a number of technology firsts while securing additional customer and ecosystem relationships,” says CEO Charles Wuischpard. “The investment interest from new and existing strategic and financial investors despite these difficult global times allows us to continue executing our long-range plan for making Ayar Labs Optical I/O a ubiquitous computing solution,” he adds.
“Ayar Labs represents the future of interconnects which have eventual applicability to every electronic device on earth,” comments Warren Rogers, partner & head of ventures at Downing Ventures. “We have the highest confidence that, when their optical I/O technology is applied to computing, the industry can accelerate even faster than Moore’s Law and redefine the boundaries of computing,” he adds.
“We’ve been an investor in Ayar Labs since the beginning and have been looking for opportunities to increase our ownership in the company,” notes Madison Hamman, managing director of Blue Sky Capital. “We believe in their patented technology and execution of a plan that makes it a core building block of future computing systems,” he adds.
“In the near future, the need for higher bandwidth will lead to short-distance connections within data centers to be optical in nature,” remarks Hsien-Hui Tong, executive director, venture investing, at SGInnovate. “We believe that Ayar Labs has market-leading technology in the area of in-package optics that will potentially revolutionize the industry.”