According to VentureBeat:
Ayar Labs is leveraging novel silicon processing techniques to develop high-speed, high-density, low-power optical-based interconnect “chiplets” to replace traditional I/O. Today, the company raised $35 million for product development and commercialization of its in-package optical interconnect solution.
Making transistors — the tiny on-off switches inside silicon chips — smaller and smaller has enabled the computer revolution and the $1 trillion-plus electronics industry. But the copper interconnections between transistors on electronics are a major impediment to progress. The resistive-capacitive delay (RC delay) within interconnects has prevented transistors from becoming faster as they shrink, as is normally the case. Moreover, copper remains unreliable at small dimensions, even with insulators made of shielding materials.
Ayar, which was cofounded in 2015 by Alex Wright-Gladstein, Chen Sun, and Mark Wade, aims to develop products that move data from chip to chip using light instead of electricity transmitted through copper wires. Ayar claims its solution — which is based on a decade of research and collaboration between MIT; the University of California, Berkeley; and Colorado University Boulder — overcomes the power and performance scaling challenges of semiconductors, as well as the interconnect bandwidth bottleneck between those devices.