Traditional processors from Intel, AMD or Nvidia, for example, have known limitations in terms of speed, energy efficiency and electromagnetic interference. Fundamental chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung, for example, are currently racing to move to the 3 nm process for customers like Apple and Nvidia.
Meanwhile, photonics is becoming a larger sector as chipmakers look for faster solutions. Unlike electrons, light wavelengths do not interact, which means you can create parallel streams of data in a chip. The global photonics market size was estimated to reach $630 billion by 2021 and is projected to be worth, say, $1,100 trillion by 2030.
All-optical processors fire up Akhetonics and think it has the answers.
It has now raised €2.3 million in early stage funding led by deep tech investors Runa Capital. Other investors include Interface Capital, Rheingau Founders, Thomas Pirschke (co-founder of Trade Republic) and Marie Tai (director at Possible Ventures).
Akhetonics claims to have several prototypes of the optical transistor and the basics of a processor’s design.
Its competitors are Lightmatter, LighIntelligence, Optalysys. The Berlin-based startup says its all-optical processors will have higher bandwidth and faster speeds with greater efficiency and information density than electronic ones.
It is aiming for a full optical CPU, with a full prototype by 2024.
“Our mission at Akhetonics is to create an entirely 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 Akhetonics CEO Michael Kissner in a statement. “The funds raised will play a critical role in bringing our vision to life, accelerating our research and development efforts and enabling us to integrate our breakthrough technology into our first product.”
Dmitry Galperin, a Berlin-based General Partner at Runa Capital added: “We see tremendous opportunity in Akhetonics’ innovative approach to all-optical processing. Their technology has the potential to revolutionize multiple industries, from high-performance networking and security hardware to quantum computing.”