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Every chipmaker has an emerging silicon photonics story but as happens only rarely, it could be a small startup that will push them to productize faster.

Lightmatter, with its “Passage” wafer-scale photonic interconnect, might be the key to letting large numbers of accelerators communicate quickly and efficiently, leading to far denser systems for workloads like AI training, in addition to providing a more dense and power efficient platform. The company has more than just an interconnect—the newly-released Envise AI accelerator chip bundles up the company’s work in photonics and silicon design with the software tools to back it up.

And what should certainly get the attention of the major early players in rolling out silicon photonics products is that all of Lightmatter’s work in the interconnect, traditional semiconductors, and AI software is being sampled as a full plug and play system.

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