Chip startups using light instead of wires gaining speed and investments
Computers using light rather than electric currents for processing, only years ago seen as research projects, are gaining traction and startups that have solved the engineering challenge of using photons in chips are getting big funding.
In the latest example, Ayar Labs, a startup developing this technology called silicon photonics, said on Tuesday it had raised $130 million from investors including chip giant Nvidia Corp.
While the transistor-based silicon chip has increased computing power exponentially over past decades as transistors have reached the width of several atoms, shrinking them further is challenging. Not only is it hard to make something so miniscule, but as they get smaller, signals can bleed between them.