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Reinventing HPC Architectures with In-Package Optical I/O

In this sponsored post, our friends over at Ayar Labs indicate that although the industry has long recognized the potential of optical I/O as a solution for many HPC challenges, it is only in recent years that economic in-package optical solutions have become available. At last, optical I/O has emerged as the best solution to drive the next phase of Moore’s Law-like advances in post-exascale systems performance. In part this is because there have not been game-changing breakthroughs in the materials used in traditional interconnects.

Video: Ayar Labs pushes Moore’s Law through Optical I/O technology

In this video, Mark Wade from Ayar Labs explains how the company’s optical I/O solution will address the critical computing challenges of efficiency, density, and distance for next-gen system architectures. “Our patented approach uses industry standard cost-effective silicon processing techniques to develop high speed, high density, low power optical based interconnect “chiplets” and multi-wavelength lasers to replace traditional electrical based I/O.”

Ayar Labs, DARPA and Intel Replace Electronic I/O with Efficient Optical Signaling

Researchers from Intel and Ayar Labs working on PIPES have successfully replaced the traditional electrical input/output (I/O) of a state-of-the-art field programmable gate array (FPGA) with efficient optical signaling interfaces. The demonstration leverages an optical interface developed by Ayar Labs called TeraPHY, an optical I/O chiplet that replaces electrical serializer/deserializer (SERDES) chiplets. “FPGAs with photonic interfaces will have broad impact, improving high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, large-scale emulation, and DoD-specific capabilities such as advanced radars.”

Lockheed Martin makes Strategic Investment in Ayar Labs

Optical interconnect startup Ayar Labs has received a strategic investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures. The funds will be used to accelerate the commercialization of Ayar Labs’ patented monolithic in-package optical I/O (MIPO) solution for applications that require high bandwidth, low latency and power efficient short reach interconnects. “We are excited to welcome Lockheed Martin Ventures as a strategic investor,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs. “Working with key system integrators like Lockheed Martin, who really understand the value of our solution and how to design it into future complex systems, is incredibly important. In that sense, we view this relationship as more than funding alone, but as an important long-term working relationship as well.”

Intel Talks at Hot Chips gear up for “AI Everywhere”

Today at Hot Chips 2019, Intel revealed new details of upcoming high-performance AI accelerators: Intel Nervana neural network processors, with the NNP-T for training and the NNP-I for inference. Intel engineers also presented technical details on hybrid chip packaging technology, Intel Optane DC persistent memory and chiplet technology for optical I/O. InsideHPC has got all the details, here, all in one place.

New Funding and DARPA Grant to Propel Optical Interconnects at Ayar Labs

Today Ayar Labs announced that the company has secured additional funding to fuel its growth as it drives to productize its TeraPHY optical I/O chiplets and SuperNova multi-wavelength lasers in 2019. The company aims to disrupt 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.