2 min

Luminous Computing, a company developing light-based artificial intelligence (AI) accelerator chips, raises a staggering $105 million in investments.

Luminous Computing – a relatively new startup – is developing a one-of-a-kind supercomputer to run AI models. The startup recently unveiled they had closed a stunning $105M funding from their diverse investors.

Here are a few notable investors that participated in the “Series A” round:

  • Bill Gates
  • Gigafund
  • Neo
  • 8090 Partners
  • Horsley Bridge
  • Alumni Ventures
  • Modern. V Partners
  • Strawberry. C Ventures, and more

Silicon photonics – the tech behind the supercomputer

Luminous is developing a supercomputer to function AI models. This supercomputer relies on “Silicon Photonics,” a tech capable of speeding up various computational tasks.

Conventional processors keep data they process in the shape of electricity. Processors manipulate the electricity by shifting it from one transistor to another to execute calculations. Silicon photonics tech takes an alternative approach: rather than electricity, the tech encodes data in the shape of light.

In some instances, light travels significantly quicker than electricity. This is the entire vision of Silicon Photonics that Luminous aims to achieve: to leverage light instead of electricity to perform calculations. Their main aim is to develop chips having 3000-times more power than TPU (or Tensor Processing Unit), a chip made by “Google LLC” to run AI models. Google provides these chips via the public cloud. It also utilizes them to function internal apps.  

A supercomputer to help ease ai workloads

The startup plans to employ silicon photonics tech to create supercomputers that are entirely optimized for artificial intelligence workloads. As per Luminous, the plan is to utilize the power of these chips to accelerate AI training.

Most people who build hardware assume that in order to improve performance, you have to trade off against programmability and cost-efficiency, or just go to a higher-density silicon node,” said Luminous co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Marcus Gomez. “By introducing silicon photonics technology at the heart of computer architecture, we’re not only able to drastically improve performance and scalability, but we’re also able to make it much easier to build huge AI models.”

Luminous Computing plans to ship ‘development kits’ to early consumers in two years and includes prominent cloud providers in its initial market.