Photonics and computing startup LightSpeedAI Labs on Monday announced raising an undisclosed amount of funding round led by YourNest Venture Capital and growX Ventures. Launched in 2019 by Rohin Y and P V Ramana, LightSpeedAI Labs is building ‘LightCompute optoelectronic processors’ for accelerating artificial intelligence and High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications. The startup had received its pre-seed funding from Entrepreneur First last year and was later a part of the Semiconductor Fabless Accelerator Lab – an initiative of the Karnataka government and India Electronics and Semiconductor Association.
“We are a unique – and perhaps the first – photonics and computing startup in India. We are attempting to simultaneously solve the interconnect and computing problem for the next-generation Artificial Intelligence / High Performance Computing hardware,” said Rohin and Ramana in a statement. The startup is preparing to showcase its technology next year. The latest investment would help it build and deploy the minimum viable product of LightCompute for pilot programmes.
LightSpeedAI Labs said that while enormous data in the form of video, images, text, and audio is generated every moment globally, it cannot be sent to faraway data centers. Hence, it needs local, edge processing such as applications like live video analytics need high bandwidth data throughput in real-time. However, that would be impossible to send out somewhere else for processing. “Our LightCompute processors, equipped with LightSpeedAI’s proprietary high speed optical interconnects, are capable of enabling high data throughput while being modular and low-power,” it added.
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“Traditional chip architectures fail when addressing the needs of diverse and varied use-cases of high-performance computing and AI algorithms. We believe the founders of LightSpeedAI are building a reconfigurable, modular and optical interconnect architecture that represents the future of computing,” said Satish Mugulavalli, Venture Partner, YourNest Venture Capital. “LightSpeedAI’s proprietary hardware and software solutions aim to harness the full potential of high-performance computing chips by making them both efficient and versatile. Their chipsets will create their own niche in the new world order being created by 5G and Edge AI,” said Manish Gupta, Principal – growX ventures.