Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Ayar Labs Announce Strategic Collaboration and Investment to Develop Next-Generation Data Center Architectures and Networking with Optical I/O

Feb 24, 2022News

HPE and Ayar Labs team up to design future silicon photonics solutions for HPE Slingshot interconnect and advanced disaggregated servers

 

HOUSTON, Texas and SANTA CLARA, Calif. Feb. 24, 2022Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) and Ayar Labs, the leader in chip-to-chip optical connectivity, today announced a multi-year strategic collaboration to usher in a new era of data center innovation by developing silicon photonics solutions based on optical I/O technology. The development of these technologies will support future requirements for high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.

The two organizations also announced today that HPE’s venture arm, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, has made a strategic investment in Ayar Labs to accelerate the development and adoption of joint future technologies. As part of the collaboration, HPE and Ayar Labs will partner on photonics research and commercial development, building a joint ecosystem of solution providers, and customer engagements.

The collaboration will focus on Ayar Labs’ development of high speed, high density, low power optical-based interconnects to target future generations of HPE Slingshot, the industry’s only high performance Ethernet fabric specifically designed for HPC and AI solutions. By combining these technologies, the teams are well-positioned to design next-generation high-performance networking solutions and novel disaggregated system architectures that are critical for increased flexibility, efficiency, performance, and throughput to support data-intensive demands of future workloads.

“We continue to invest in and develop our HPC and AI technologies to further boost application performance for our customers and help them unlock greater value from their research, engineering, and business initiatives,” said Justin Hotard, senior vice president and general manager, HPC and AI, at HPE. “By partnering with Ayar Labs, we will advance innovation for the HPC and AI market, and leverage their expertise in optical I/O in future generations of HPE Slingshot to deliver unprecedented bandwidth and speed, at lower levels of power and latency, to meet requirements for growing demands in scale and performance.”

Addressing the future of HPC and AI application performance with optical interconnect

As the industry enters the exascale era, which represents an increase in performance and advanced capabilities for HPC and AI, electrical-based networking offerings will eventually reach bandwidth limits, creating challenges in latency and overall application performance. To prepare for and address these future challenges, HPE and Ayar Labs plan to develop capabilities that leverage optical I/O, which is a silicon photonics-based technology that uses light instead of electricity to transmit data, to integrate with HPE Slingshot, a purpose-built HPC and AI interconnect designed for next-generation technologies, such as the upcoming U.S. Department of Energy exascale supercomputers.

Optical I/O uniquely changes the performance and power trajectories of system designs by enabling compute, memory and networking ASICs to communicate with dramatically increased bandwidth, at a lower latency, and at a fraction of the power of existing electrical I/O solutions. The technology is also foundational to enabling emerging heterogeneous compute systems, disaggregated, pooled designs, and unified memory architectures that are critical to accelerating future innovation.

“HPE is the leader in advanced systems architectures for HPC, AI, and networking,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs. “This collaboration will accelerate the introduction of a whole new class of system architectures that overcome the existing limitations of traditional interconnects, ushering in a new era for efficient, scalable high-performance computing.”

“Ayar Labs represents an exciting investment opportunity for Hewlett Packard Pathfinder as we closely support HPE’s HPC and AI initiatives,” said Paul Glaser, vice president and head of Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, HPE’s venture arm. “Ayar Labs’ optical I/O technology is highly differentiated and critical to the evolution of high-performance computing architectures.”

To learn more about HPE’s HPC and AI solutions, please visit: https://www.hpe.com/us/en/compute/hpc

To learn more about Ayar Labs’ chip-to-chip optical technology and mission, please visit: https://ayarlabs.com/

 

About Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) is the global edge-to-cloud company that helps organizations accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere. Built on decades of reimagining the future and innovating to advance the way people live and work, HPE delivers unique, open and intelligent technology solutions as a service. With offerings spanning Cloud Services, Compute, High Performance Computing & AI, Intelligent Edge, Software, and Storage, HPE provides a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, helping customers develop new business models, engage in new ways, and increase operational performance. For more information, visit: www.hpe.com

About Ayar Labs
Ayar Labs is disrupting the traditional performance, cost, and efficiency curves of the semiconductor and computing industries by driving a 1000x improvement in interconnect bandwidth density at 10x lower power.  Ayar Labs’ patented approach uses industry standard cost-effective silicon processing techniques to develop high speed, high density, low power optical based interconnect “chiplets” and lasers to replace traditional electrical based I/O.  The company was founded in 2015 and is funded by a number of domestic and international venture capital firms as well as strategic investors.  For more information, visit www.ayarlabs.com.

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Media Contact:  Kristine Raabe, press@ayarlabs.com

Link to press release on HPE newsroom.

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