Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Lightmatter lands $154 million for photonic interconnects / processors

Lightmatter, a start-up based in Boston, raised a $154 million Series C investment round for its photonic interconnects and processors.

Lightmatter’s photonics-enabled products encompass a full stack of hardware and software for AI and supercomputing applications.

“Rapid progress in artificial intelligence is forcing computing infrastructure to improve at an unprecedented rate. The energy costs of this growth are significant, even on a planetary scale,” said Lightmatter co-founder and CEO, Nick Harris. “Generative AI and supercomputing will be transformed by photonic technologies in the coming years, and our investors, partners, and customers are aligned with Lightmatter’s mission of enabling the future of computing infrastructure with photonics.”

The new funding came from SIP Global, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Viking Global Investors, GV (Google Ventures), HPE Pathfinder and existing investors. 

Lightmatter has now raised a total of over $270 million to date. 

  • In 2022, the company announced significant growth with the recruitment of top talent to its leadership team, including Richard Ho, who led Google’s Tensor Processing Unit program, and Ritesh Jain, who led datacenter chip packaging at Intel, as VPs of Hardware Engineering. Lightmatter also announced Jessie Zhang, who led corporate financial planning at Apple, as VP of Finance, and Steve Klinger, former VP at Innovium, as VP of Product.

CoreWeave raises $421 million for GPU cloud service

CoreWeave, a specialized cloud provider built for large-scale GPU-accelerated workloads, announced an additional $200 million in funding to expand its cloud GPU services.

The new funding , which was provided by  Magnetar Capital (“Magnetar”), a leading alternative asset manager, comes just one month after the company announced $221 million in Series B funding, also led by Magnetar, bringing the total for the round to $421 million.

CoreWeave said its  serverless orchestration layer makes it an attractive option for AI startups rushing to get a product to market, as teams can spin up workloads in as little as five seconds with increased portability, less overhead and less management complexity.

“In my 25-year career, I’ve never been a part of a company that’s growing like this,” said CoreWeave CEO and co-founder Michael Intrator. “It’s an incredible moment in time. From a demand standpoint, revenue and client scale, the rise has been exponential, and Magnetar has been an amazing partner from the beginning.”

CoreWeave was founded in 2017 and is based in Roseland, New Jersey.

Liquid Dataport connects Mombasa to Muanda via terrestrial fiber

Liquid Dataport launched its newest fibre route connecting Mombasa, Kenya, to Muanda on the west coast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). 

The new 3,800 km fiber route reduces data transmission latency by 20 milliseconds. 

The route connects Kenya and DRC, passing through Uganda and Rwanda and bringing more reliable and affordable broadband connectivity to over 40 million people living and working in all the major cities along the route. The latest route complements Liquid’s earlier achievement, already a first, in 2019, linking Dar Es Salaam to Muanda on the West Coast of  DR Congo via Zambia.

Hardy Pemhiwa, President & Group Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Intelligent Technologies, said, “The real challenge today is closing the access-usage gap in Africa so that more Africans can use the internet technologies available to them, now and in the future. This East-West route which compliments our existing Pan Africa fibre network, is significant because it is helping to solve that problem – it not only brings global traffic to the continent but also improves the cost economics of Africa’s broadband Internet access.”

“We have a significant number of wholesale, enterprise and hyperscale customers along this route, and we fully support them in operating their global networks. The availability of our latest and shortest East to West route brings many proven economic and social benefits – from providing access to online educational resources to creating more jobs and driving the adoption of new technologies,” said David Eurin, Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Dataport.

FCC updates National Broadband Map

The FCC released an updated version of its location-based national broadband map.

The FCC finds that more than 8.3 million U.S. homes and businesses lack access to high-speed broadband. 

On net, the improvements to the map since November helped to identify nearly 330,000 more unserved locations.

The FCC mapping team has reviewed challenges to availability data for more than 4 million locations. Over 75% of those challenges have already been resolved and the majority have led to updates in the data on the map showing where broadband is available. At the same time, the new map also reflects a net increase of more than one million new serviceable locations, as compared to the November 2022 pre-production draft.

MACOM opens European Semiconductor Center in France

MACOM is establishing a European Semiconductor Center to offer its customers higher frequency Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) monolithic microwave integrated circuits.

MACOM recently acquired the key manufacturing facilities, capabilities and technologies of OMMIC SAS. 

The OMMIC facility, which is located near Paris in Limeil-BrĂ©vannes, France, will become the foundation for MACOM’s newly established European Semiconductor Center. 

“We are excited to open MACOM’s European Semiconductor Center,” stated Stephen G. Daly, President and Chief Executive Officer, MACOM.

5G Open Innovation Lab aims for faster deployment of private mobile

The 5G Open Innovation Lab (5G OI Lab) is collaborating with F5, GXC and Spirent Communications to showcase an enterprise Private Mobile Network (PMN) capable of delivering service in hard-to-reach locations with greater security, control, and resilience.

As 5G infrastructure becomes more mainstream, enterprises and organizations are subsequently deploying more private networks and telco clouds into strategic locations to leverage newly available connectivity, lower latency, and agility. The consistent throughput and capacity on these PMNs bring the promise of 5G to revenue-driven use cases such as IoT and network slicing, while being mindful that security must expand accordingly beyond legacy policies and be thoroughly tested. Especially in edge use cases, one of the requirements most in demand is the need for local breakout to route traffic to as part of a Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) infrastructure or hosted within a data center.

F5, a hybrid and multi-cloud application services and security company, deployed its carrier-grade BIG-IP Virtual Editions. These security functions were consolidated with an N6/SGi-LAN solution adding another layer of speed and security at the network level. 

GXC, a NaaS communications early-stage tech company which is part of the 5G OI Lab ecosystem, contributed their unique distributed mesh configuration for easier and faster deployment of a private network while providing full coverage and capacity of a cellular network.

This collaboration was validated using Spirent’s Landslide test and emulation platform, which provided device and RAN emulation to create a diversity of traffic flows across multiple data networks through the 5G core which is monitored and managed by F5 behind the UPF. 

Finally, the entire solution was pressure-tested through technology made available through the 5G OI Lab and its enterprise and operator partners deployed with GXC’s ONYX Portal.

The 5G Open Innovation Lab notes that in the four years since its founding, its membership roster has grown to include Accenture, Amdocs, Avanade, Dell Technologies, Deloitte, Ericsson, F5, GAF (Standard Industries), Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Palo Alto Networks, SK Telecom, Spirent, T-Mobile and VMware as well as 101 multi-stage enterprise startups who have collectively raised $1.641B of venture capital.