Optalysys launches FT:X 2000 – The world’s first commercial optical processing system

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FT:X 2000 optical processor

Today Optalysys announced the FT:X 2000, the world’s first optical co-processor system for Ai computing.

It is a really exciting time in optical computing,” said Dr. Nick New, Optalysys CEO and Founder. “As we approach the commercial launch of our main optical co-processor systems, we are seeing a surge in interest in optical methods, which are needed to provide the next level of processing capability across multiple industry sectors. We are on the verge of an optical computing revolution and it’s fantastic to be leading the way.”

Optical processing comes at a pivotal time of change in computing. Demand for AI is exploding just as silicon-based processing is facing the fundamental problem of Moore’s Law breaking down. Optalysys is addressing this problem with its revolutionary optical processing technology – enabling new levels of AI performance for high resolution image and video-based applications.

Optical processing technology is being developed to accelerate some of the most demanding processor-intensive tasks at a fraction of the energy consumption of silicon processors. It can be programmed through the API or Tensorflow interface to perform optical correlation and convolution functions to unlock new levels of AI and pattern recognition capability. The FT:X2000 is an entry-level system that operates at up to 2400 frames per second with a 2048×1536 resolution.

Last week Boston-based start-up Lightmatter announced a $22million investment round led by Google Ventures into the development of their photonic chip-based Optical AI technology, following the announcement last year of a $10million fund raise by competing company Lightelligence, led by Chinese giant Baidu. Both companies are focussed towards optical AI methods which calculate the the matrix multiply operations that form the basis of today’s deep learning neural networks, using light, rather than electricity.

In this RichReport slidecast from 2017, Dr. Nick New from Optalysys describes how the company’s optical processing technology delivers accelerated performance for FFTs and Bioinformatics.

The Optalysys technology also uses photons in place of electrons, but crucially performs high resolution calculations that enable large image/pattern-based data to be processed at speeds far faster than in silicon. By exploiting the properties of diffractive optics, the Optalysys technology can offer something unique in the AI space – a scalable processor that can perform end-to-end, full-resolution processing of multi-mega-pixel image and video data, or contextually pre-process data for boosting the performance of existing Convolutional Neural Network (CNN)-type models for high-resolution data applications.

According to Optalysys, a limited number of FT:X 2000 systems are available now through info@optalysys.com.

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  1. Francesco Rizzo says

    how faster is it? can you give us some numbers?

  2. Do not expect more than hype but optical computing should be 1000 times faster and not generate as much waste heat. The problem is shrinking the optical systems to be 1000 times smaller to compete with current chip technology. The optical computer is highly parallel so it is much faster and highly parallel but no one has committed the funding to shrink the optics.
    So great potential but no commitment to financially to move forward.