Traditional processors from the likes of Intel, AMD, or Nvidia have well-known limitations around speed, energy efficiency, and electromagnetic interference. For instance, foundational chip makers like TSMC and Samsung are currently racing to move to the 3nm process for customers like Apple and Nvidia.
In the meantime, photonics is becoming a bigger sector as chip makers look for faster solitions. Unlike electrons, light wavelengths do not interact meaning you can create parallel data streams inside a chip. The global photonics market size was valued at $630 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 1.100 trillion by 2030, for instance.
All-optical processors startup Akhetonics, thinks it has the answers.
It’s now raised €2.3 million in early stage funding led by deeptech investors Runa Capital. Other investors include Interface Capital, Rheingau Founders, Thomas Pirschke (Co-Founder of Trade Republic), and Marie Tai (Principal at Possible Ventures).
Akhetonics claims to have multiple prototypes of the optical transistor and the foundation of a processor’s design.
Its competitors include Lightmatter, LighIntelligence, Optalysys. The Berlin-based startup says its all-optical processors will have a higher bandwidth and faster speeds with greater efficiency and information density than over electronic ones.
Its aiming at a full-scale optical CPU, with a full prototype by 2024.
“Our mission at Akhetonics is to create a completely new computing technology – the world’s first all-optical general-purpose CPU. We are driven by the ambition to push the boundaries of what is possible in computing,” said Michael Kissner, CEO of Akhetonics in a statement. “The funds raised will play a pivotal role in bringing our vision to life, accelerating our research and development efforts, and enabling us to integrate our groundbreaking technology into our first product.”
Dmitry Galperin, a Berlin-based General Partner at Runa Capital added: “We see tremendous opportunities in Akhetonics’ innovative approach to all-optical processing. Their technology has the potential to revolutionize multiple sectors, from high-performance networking and security hardware to quantum computing.”