Lightium secures $2.9M to advance its photonic platform for data centers

May 16, 2024
The company claims its platform can help traditional service providers and data center operators meet the demands of high data rates and preserve energy efficiency.

Lightium AG, an emerging photonic vendor focused on the data center market, has been awarded a $2.9 million grant from InnoSuisee, Switzerland’s Innovation Agency. 

The company will use this highly competitive grant, one of the largest non-dilutive fundings available to startups in Switzerland, to accelerate the commercialization of its proprietary Thin-Film Lithium Niobate (TFLN) platform.

Lightium said it plans to open beta access to its foundry services in the fourth quarter. These services offer capabilities ranging from rapid prototyping to volume production.

As more data centers are built to accommodate the new demands created by AI and other applications, providers face the growing challenge of rising data volumes and unprecedented energy consumption.

Lightium's TFLN platform addresses these issues by increasing communication bandwidth while reducing power requirements. The company’s TFLN platform can support data transmission speeds exceeding 1.6 Tbps and power consumption rates that it claims are significantly lower than current technologies.

Lightium will use the InnoSuisse funds to transfer its manufacturing process to a commercial CMOS fab, enabling volume production. This will make Lightium the first production-capable player in Europe for TFLN, securing the continent’s strategic independence for the next generation of photonic devices.

“The support from InnoSuisse is not just a financial boost but a validation of our technology’s pivotal role in shaping the future of data communications and energy efficiency,” says Dr. Amir Ghadimi, CEO and Co-Founder of Lightium. “Additionally, the versatile nature of our TFLN platform extends its benefits to other applications and markets such as satellite communication, quantum computing, and LIDAR applications.”

Over the next nine months, Lightium plans to collaborate closely with its partners to optimize its PIC manufacturing process and fine-tune the specifications of its process design kit (PDK), the platform's building blocks library. The company will also open beta access to its TFLN platform by the end of 2024.

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About the Author

Sean Buckley

Sean is responsible for establishing and executing the editorial strategies of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report across their websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products.

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