iPronics shipping SmartLight Processor reprogrammable photonic microchips

Feb. 9, 2023
A spinoff of the Technical University of Valencia, iPronics was founded by Dr. Daniel Pérez-López, Professor José Capmany, and Iñaki Berenguer to develop software programmable photonic chips that would marry the concepts of integrated photonics and FPGAs.

Startup iPronics says it has begun initial shipments of its plug-and-play SmartLight Processor programmable photonic microchips. The company identified the recipients as “several companies in distinct sectors” in the U.S. and Europe, including “a multinational telecommunications and electronics company, a European-based optical networking company, and a large U.S. technology company.”

A spinoff of the Technical University of Valencia, iPronics was founded by Dr. Daniel Pérez-López, Professor José Capmany, and Iñaki Berenguer to develop software programmable photonic chips that would marry the concepts of integrated photonics and FPGAs. Such devices will require up to 10X less power and can be 20X faster than electrical chips while processing significantly more information, the company asserts. Meanwhile, the programmable nature of the SmartLight Processor enables the development of photonic devices more quickly than traditional methods, iPronics adds. Compared to custom photonic ICs, development time can be reduced from 18 months to “a couple of weeks,” the company states in a press release.

Because of its reconfigurability, the SmartLight Processor can be applied to a wide range of applications, with iPronics citing 5G/6G signal processing, data centers, machine learning, AI, autonomous driving, and quantum computing as examples.

Gee, that was fast

“For a company that was founded just prior to the pandemic, it is almost unprecedented to move so swiftly from development to shipping our first commercial orders supporting a variety of applications,” commented Mark Halfman, who joined the company as CEO last November. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the vision of the company’s founders and the dedication of the entire team. This is both a watershed moment for the photonics industry and an exciting time for the company.”

Work on the technology at the Photonics Research Lab at Technical University of Valencia received early funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe SME research and innovation program under grant agreement 101057934. Angel investors include “tech executives and entrepreneurs” from Google, Facebook, Carto, Freshly, Endeavor, Oracle, Deloitte, Ferrovial, and Clicars, among others; iPronics also received €1 million ($1.07 million) in early funding from co-founder Berenguer. iPronics earned a grant from the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness in 2020 and a €2.5 million ($2.68 million) grant in January 2022 from the European Innovation Council (EIC), then raised €3.7 million ($3.97 million) last July in a round led by Amadeus Capital Partners, with participation from Caixa Capital Risc.

For related articles, visit the Optical Technologies Topic Center.

For more information on optical components and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

To stay abreast of optical communications technology, subscribe to Lightwave’s Enabling Technologies Newsletter.

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.

Sponsored Recommendations

New Optical Wavelength Service Trends

July 1, 2024
Discover how optical wavelength services are reshaping the telecom landscape, driven by rapid expansion and adoption of high-speed connections exceeding 100 Gbps, championed by...

ON TOPIC: Innovation in Optical Components

July 2, 2024
Lightwave’s latest on-topic eBook, sponsored by Anritsu, will address innovation in optical components. The eBook looks at various topics, including PCIe (Peripheral...

Data Center Interconnection

June 18, 2024
Join us for an interactive discussion on the growing data center interconnection market. Learn about the role of coherent pluggable optics, new connectivity technologies, and ...

Data Center Network Advances

April 2, 2024
Lightwave’s latest on-topic eBook, which AFL and Henkel sponsor, will address advances in data center technology. The eBook looks at various topics, ranging...