25 April 2023
POET Starlight launched for AI market
POET Technologies Inc of Toronto, Ontario, Canada — designer and developer of the POET Optical Interposer, photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and light sources for the data-center, telecom and artificial intelligence (AI) markets — has launched POET Starlight, a packaged light source solution for AI applications.
The firm has also entered into an agreement with Celestial AI of Santa Clara, CA, USA, creators of the Photonic Fabric, for the development and production of POET Starlight packaged light sources and has received an advanced purchase order for initial production units.
“POET’s Starlight chips and its technology roadmap are complementary to our advanced silicon photonics and system-in-package technologies,” notes Celestial AI’s co-founder & chief operating officer Preet Virk. “We are pleased to continue our collaboration with POET Technologies, building on its optical interposer technology to enable us to meet our performance, scale and cost targets.”
The POET Starlight products are packaged light engines based on POET’s LightBar platform, which was demonstrated at March’s Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC 2023) in San Diego, CA, USA. Chip developers are working to redesign the core of computer architecture to incorporate light for communication between chips or to perform complex computations, all in an effort to eliminate the bandwidth and power-efficiency bottlenecks inherent in electronic devices. Each such chip requires one or more light sources able to provide several frequencies of light integrated into the fabric of the device.
POET’s Starlight products integrate active components like lasers and certain other passive optical and electrical components into the optical interposer to provide a complete light source solution that can be integrated on a host board and connected to chips and ASICs with built-in silicon photonics. POET achieves its low-cost solution through the use of features and benefits of the POET Optical Interposer platform and the ‘semiconductorization’ of photonics fabrication processes.
“External light sources for artificial intelligence applications has been one of the key verticals for POET,” says chairman & CEO Dr Suresh Venkatesan. “We are delighted to continue to work with Celestial AI to provide a high-volume manufacturable solution for their optical interconnect technology platform,” he adds. “The ability for POET to passively attach high-power CW [continuous wave] lasers on its optical interposer at wafer scale enables the use of single known-good laser chips and eliminates the need for laser arrays, which can be cost prohibitive for high-volume applications. The POET team has worked closely with Celestial AI to define a low-cost packaging solution that is up to 75% lower in cost than competing solutions and is highly scalable for the volumes that Celestial AI is projecting.”
POET’s Starlight C-band and O-band LightBar products incorporate monolithically integrated passive components like multiplexers, demultiplexers, splitters, combiners and waveguides. Known-good high-power CW lasers and monitor photodiodes are flip chipped and passively attached to the optical interposer platform. POET expects to complete design verification testing and reliability qualification of the Starlight engines by the end of 2023 and start production in second-half 2024. The size of the AI chip market is projected by Allied Market Research to reach $263bn by 2031.
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