AES Semigas


12 January 2024

Ayar Labs’ board gains silicon industry veterans to accelerate growth

Silicon photonics-based chip-to-chip optical connectivity firm Ayar Labs of Santa Clara, CA, USA says that Ganesh Moorthy, president & CEO of Microchip Technology Inc, and technology entrepreneur Craig Barratt, former CEO of Atheros and current chair of the board of Intuitive Surgical, are joining its board of directors. Also, Ayar’s co-founder Vladimir Stojanovic has been named chief technology officer.

“Each will play a critical role as we move our technologies into production maturity,” says CEO Mark Wade. “Their collective knowledge and experience will help us accelerate our roadmap leadership, and deliver the transformative value of optical I/O in AI systems, high-performance computing (HPC), and next-generation data-center system architectures.”

Moorthy has more than 40 years of executive leadership and semiconductor industry experience. In addition to his role as president & CEO of Microchip, Moorthy serves on the board of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), Rogers Corp, and Celanese. Previously, he held several senior leadership roles at Intel Corp.

“The work Ayar Labs is doing to make optical I/O a reality is essential to the forward progress of the entire industry,” believes Moorthy. “By addressing the performance and power bottlenecks of traditional electrical-based interconnects, Ayar Labs will help unleash the full potential of everything from AI and 6G networks to disaggregated data centers and so much more,” he adds. “I look forward to helping Ayar Labs expand its reach across the ecosystem as the company moves into its next phase of growth.”

As CEO of Atheros, Barratt completed an IPO and ultimately sold Atheros to Qualcomm for $3.1bn. He also served as CEO of Barefoot Networks, which was acquired by Intel. In addition to his entrepreneurial career, he has held executive positions at Google, Qualcomm and Intel, and he is currently chair of the board for Intuitive, IonQ and Calysta.

“Optical I/O solves long-standing data movement challenges in computing systems. With the dramatic bandwidth and performance needs in AI systems, a new generation of foundational technologies and products are needed,” says Barratt. “Ayar Labs’ leadership in breakthrough optical I/O solutions enables system performance that is not possible with alternative approaches,” he adds. “I look forward to leveraging my background in bringing new semiconductor technologies to market to accelerate the company’s growth.”

In addition to co-founding Ayar and serving as its chief architect, Stojanovic is co-founder of NanoSemi, which was acquired by MaxLinear. Most recently, he served as professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, and he was also an associate professor at MIT from 2005 to 2013. He was recently named an IEEE Fellow for his contributions to electronic-photonic design and system-on-chip integration.

These additions to Ayar’s leadership team build on the firm’s momentum in 2023, including technology breakthroughs and progress with customers and partners. Ayar showcased the industry’s first 4Tbps optical solution, moving data from one TeraPHY optical I/O chiplet to another at 2Tbps in each direction powered by Ayar’s SuperNova light source. The firm is able to achieve this data transfer at the latency and power efficiency needed for data-intensive workloads such as generative AI, machine learning and more, while also supporting novel disaggregated compute and memory architectures.

Ayar also recently demonstrated its in-package optical I/O solution integrated with Intel’s Agilex FPGA technology. This new optically enabled FPGA promises 5x the existing industry bandwidth at 5x lower power and 20x lower latency, all packaged in a common PCIe card form factor.

See related items:

Ayar Labs names co-founder & CTO Mark Wade as CEO

Ayar Labs adds $25m in expansion of $130m Series C funding round

Tags: silicon photonics


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