Ayar Labs adds $130 million in Series C funding

April 28, 2022
An Ayar Labs executive earlier this year called 2022 “the year of scale,” and the new funding will be used to ramp production and further secure supply chain partners.

Optical chip-to-chip connectivity developer Ayar Labs says it has raised $130 million in Series C funding. Boardman Bay Capital Management led the round, with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and NVIDIA investing for the first time to join previous strategic investors Applied Ventures LLC, GlobalFoundries, Intel Capital, and Lockheed Martin Ventures. Other new strategic and financial investors in the round include Agave SPV, Atreides Capital, Berkeley Frontier Fund, IAG Capital Partners, Infinitum Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Tyche Partners. They join existing investors such as BlueSky Capital, Founders Fund, Playground Global, and TechU Venture Partners.

Ayar Labs has developed TeraPHY chiplets and 64-wavelength external SuperNova lasers for co-packaged optical chip-to-chip communications in a variety of applications, including artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, cloud, and telecom (see “Ayar Labs partners with GLOBALFOUNDRIES for optical I/O demo, expanded sampling for co-packaged optics”). The company has partnered with GlobalFoundries for chiplet production; Lumentum, MACOM, and Sivers Semiconductors to aid in laser production; and has announced HPE as a customer (see “HPE, Ayar Labs pair to bring optical I/O to HPE Slingshot Ethernet fabric”). An Ayar Labs executive earlier this year called 2022 “the year of scale” (see “Ayar Labs: 2022 is the year of scale”), and the new funding will be used to ramp production and further secure supply chain partners. The company has already begun volume commercial shipments under contract and expects to ship thousands of units by the end of this year.

“The overall financing is much larger than we originally targeted, underscoring the market opportunity for optical I/O and Ayar Labs’ leadership position in silicon photonics-based interconnect solutions,” commented Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs. “This financing allows us to fully qualify our solution against industry standards for quality and reliability and scale production starting this year.”

“As a successful technology-focused crossover fund operating for over a decade, Ayar Labs represents our largest private investment to date," added Will Graves, chief investment officer at Boardman Bay Capital Management. "We believe that silicon photonics-based optical interconnects in the data center and telecommunications markets represent a massive new opportunity and that Ayar Labs is the leader in this emerging space with proven technology, a fantastic team, and the right ecosystem partners and strategy.”

“Optical connectivity will be important to scale accelerated computing clusters to meet the fast-growing demands of AI and HPC workloads,” said Bill Dally, chief scientist and senior vice president of research at NVIDIA. “Ayar Labs has unique optical I/O technology that meets the needs of scaling next-generation silicon photonics-based architectures for AI.”

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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