Lightelligence Expands Executive Management Team with Industry Veterans from AMD, Arm, Alibaba
BOSTON, Dec. 13, 2022 – Lightelligence, the global leader in optical computing, today named three semiconductor industry veterans from AMD, Arm and Alibaba to its executive management team.
Wayne Wu, who most recently led AMD’s PCIe design team, becomes Vice President of Electronics, while Dr. Weifeng Zhang, former Chief Scientist of Heterogeneous Computing at Alibaba Cloud, steps into the role of Vice President of Software. Hal Conklin, former Arm Vice President of Worldwide Channel Sales, is Vice President of Business Development.
“I am pleased to welcome Wayne, Weifeng and Hal and their deep experience in product strategy and business development,” affirms Dr. Yichen Shen, founder and CEO of Lightelligence. “With these strategic leadership appointments, Lightelligence is well positioned to accelerate productization and commercialization of powerful, effective optoelectronic computing to enable the elastic, heterogeneous computing data center.”
“I had a chance to join other AMD spin-offs in the GPU domain but chose Lightelligence for its unique potential in the market, as well as the chance to work alongside a group of folks I have known and respected my whole career,” says Wu.
Wu will use his PCIe technology expertise and deep industry knowledge to guide the engineering team from development to productization. With more than 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, Wu has an extensive background in chip design, verification and productization. He joined HP in the early 1990s responsible for fiber channel switch chipset development, then was a key early employee at ATI Technologies (now AMD). During his 15-year tenure at AMD, Wu managed the development of microchips and launched several products, including the PCIe intellectual property (IP) and system on chip (SoC), multimedia SoC, GPU, CPU and APU.
Dr. Weifeng Zhang
“The demand for computing power is increasing rapidly,” remarks Dr. Zhang. “Optoelectronic computing is a disruptive innovation that differs from the current traditional AI chip computing paradigm. Lightelligence foresaw the advantage of optics and is a pioneer in the new paradigm of optoelectronic computing, and its technology and product roadmap fit the current industry trend perfectly.”
Dr. Zhang brings more than 26 years of experience at leading global technology organizations including Microsoft, Arm, Qualcomm and Alibaba. Previously, he was a Senior Director at Alibaba Group and Chief Scientist of Heterogeneous Computing at Alibaba Cloud where he oversaw heterogeneous computing technologies, such as AI accelerator systems, AI compilers, workload analysis and optimization, and an elastic heterogeneous accelerator pooling infrastructure. He is also the Technology Chair of the AI Co-Design Workgroup at the Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) and serves as a board member at MLCommons, a noted AI benchmarking organization.
“Lightelligence met all my criteria — excellent technology, great management and an open culture,” notes Conklin. “Its optoelectronic computing paradigm is a different solution facing Moore’s Law. Engineering solved some very hard problems with photonics and has a great pipeline of innovations to bring to market. I am excited to contribute to something that will have a profound impact on the semiconductor industry.”
Conklin is an experienced strategic sales leader in the technology industry. Prior to joining Lightelligence, he spent 10 years at Arm serving as Vice President of Worldwide Channel Sales. He also worked in executive management roles at several tech start-ups, creating markets for new product categories and achieving impressive revenue growth.
Lightelligence has transformed cutting-edge photonics technology into a groundbreaking computing solution that brings exponential improvement in computing power and dramatically reduces energy consumption. It boasts top-technology R&D and experienced engineering teams and close relationships with leaders in the semiconductor, cloud computing, finance, autonomous driving industries. Founded in 2017, Lightelligence has approximately 200 employees globally and raised more than $200 million in funding.