American chip-processing starting Ayar Labs has secured a $35 million Series B funding round, to help grow its novel I/O-replacement technology.
The Emeryville, California-based firm received the round from co-leaders Downing Ventures and BlueSky Capital, with additional funding from Intel Capital, Lockheed Martin Ventures, Applied Ventures and others. It brings Ayar Labs’ total backing up to $64.5m.
Ayar Labs, founded in 2015, bases its technology on over a decade of research at academic institutes including MIT and UC Berkeley. It involves replacing copper wires with light to move data from chip to chip. This shift removes an interconnectivity bandwidth bottleneck, and allows semiconductors to continue scaling.
Copper I/Os are currently among the biggest barriers to chipmaking progress, as there is only so much their size can be reduced and retain stability. Ayar Labs claims its co-called “chiplets” can hurdle that problem. Chiplets can drive a 1,000x interconnectivity performance improvement at 10x lower power, the company says.
“Ayar Labs represents the future of interconnects which have eventual applicability to every electronic device on earth,” said Downing Ventures’ Warren Rogers in a statement. “We have the highest confidence that when their optical I/O technology is applied to computing, the industry will finally break away from Moore’s Law and redefine the boundaries of computing.”