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Ayar Labs shows optically-enabled Intel FPGA


Delivers 5x more I/O bandwidth, up to 20x lower latency and 5x more power efficiency

Ayar Labs, a developer of silicon photonics for chip-to-chip connectivity, will exhibit its in-package optical I/O solution integrated with Intel’s Agilex FPGA technology at the upcoming Supercomputing 2023 conference on Nov. 12-17 in Denver, USA.

The optical FPGA consisting of two TeraPHY optical I/O chiplets that are each capable of 4 Tbps bi-directional bandwidth. These chiplets are connected to a 10 nm FPGA fabric die, the core fabric used in Intel’s Agilex FPGAs. The optical communication is powered by two of Ayar Labs' SuperNova light sources, supporting 64 optical channels of high-speed communication across eight fibres on each chiplet.

According to Ayar, this configuration is capable of delivering 5x the bandwidth at a fraction of the power (<5pJ/b) and latency (5ns per chiplet + TOF) required by current industry solutions.

“We’re on the cusp of a new era in high performance computing as optical I/O becomes a ‘must have’ building block for meeting the exponentially growing, data-intensive demands of emerging technologies like generative AI,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs.

Venkat Yadavalli, Intel’s VP and GM, Product Excellence Group said: “Optical interfaces like these have the potential to unlock huge advancements in high performance computing, AI, data centesd, sensing, communications, edge, and more. Imagine what you could do with an optical interface FPGA communicating at over 4 Terabits per second.”

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