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Lightmatter’s photonic AI hardware is ready to shine with $154M in new funding


Photonic computing startup Lightmatter is taking its big shot at the rapidly growing AI computation market with a hardware-software combo it claims will help the industry level up — and save a lot of electricity to boot.
Lightmatter’s chips basically use optical flow to solve computational processes like matrix vector products. This math is at the heart of a lot of AI work and currently performed by GPUs and TPUs that specialize in it but use traditional silicon gates and transistors.
The issue with those is that we’re approaching the limits of density and therefore speed for a given wattage or size. Advances are still being made but at great cost and pushing the edges of classical physics. The supercomputers that make training models like GPT-4 possible are enormous, consume huge amounts of power and produce a lot of wa …

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