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Ayar Labs Secures $35 Million Funding

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Applied Ventures, Castor Ventures, Downing Ventures, and SGInnovate join existing investors as company leads development of photonics-based technology

Ayar Labs, a Santa Clara-based photonics start-up, has completed a $35M Series B financing co-led by Downing Ventures and BlueSky Capital. New investors include Applied Ventures, LLC, Castor Ventures, Downing Ventures (UK), and SGInnovate (Singapore), expanding Ayar Labs' investor base with strategic ecosystem and global investors. Existing investor participation includes BlueSky Capital, Founders Fund, Global Foundries, Intel Capital, Lockheed Martin Ventures, and Playground Global.

With the new investment, Ayar Labs aims to accelerate product development and commercialisation of its in-package optical interconnect (I/O) solution, as well as to epxandt internationally.

Ayar Labs' patented approach uses industry standard silicon processing techniques to develop high speed, high density, low power optical based interconnect “chiplets” and lasers to replace traditional electrical based I/O. The company was founded in 2015

Optical I/O (OIO) solves the major computing bottlenecks in interconnect bandwidth, power consumption, and reach. Removing these bottlenecks enables new system architectures that can bring improvements in power, performance, area, and cost beyond the limits of traditional Moore's Law scaling in important applications such as artificial intelligence, high performance computing, cloud, telecommunications, and aerospace.

“Over the last year, we have continued to invest and grow our organization, and have demonstrated a number of technology firsts while securing additional customer and ecosystem relationships,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs. “The investment interest from new and existing strategic and financial investors despite these difficult global times allows us to continue executing our long-range plan for making Ayar Labs Optical I/O a ubiquitous computing solution.”

“Ayar Labs represents the future of interconnects which have eventual applicability to every electronic device on earth,” said Warren Rogers, Partner and Head of Ventures at Downing Ventures. “We have the highest confidence that when their optical I/O technology is applied to computing, the industry can accelerate even faster than Moore's Law and redefine the boundaries of computing.”

“We've been an investor in Ayar Labs since the beginning and have been looking for opportunities to increase our ownership in the company,” said Madison Hamman, managing director of Blue Sky Capital. “We are very excited about Ayar Labs and believe in their patented technology and execution of a plan that makes it a core building block of future computing systems.”

Hsien-Hui Tong, executive director, Venture Investing, SGInnovate states that “In the near future, the need for higher bandwidth will lead to short distance connections within data centres to be optical in nature. We believe that Ayar Labs has market leading technology in the area of in-package optics that will potentially revolutionise the industry and are delighted to be joining the round as investors.”

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