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At Virtual ISC: Ayar Labs and Optical I/O – Data at the Speed of Light

At Virtual ISC we chatted with Ayar Lab’s Hugo Saleh, VP of business development and marketing, about what he calls the coming revolution in HPC (and other compute- and data-intensive market segments) brought on by optical I/O.

This technology replaces traditional electrical-based I/O, delivering 1000x improvement in interconnect bandwidth density at 10x lower power consumption, according to Ayar. In this interview Saleh talks about Ayar’s technology developments and customer adoption.

“For decades,” Saleh said, “chips have been talking to each other using electricity. It’s the standard way – chips communicate through copper, you have electrons and voltages going from chip to chip, driving the IO and signaling. And the revolution that’s coming is changing that to optics and photonics, in essence using light versus electricity to communicate between different components in a system. We call that optical IO…, whether it’s a processor, a GPU or an FPGA and memory, talking to another component in the system, whether it’s in the same box in the same rack or rack to rack, using photonics and optics.”

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