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oMAC


Optical Multiply Accumulate

  • Based on a silicon photonics platform compatible with CMOS processes, optical-electrical co-design, and advanced packaging solutions 

  • Novel design using high speed, configurable, compact modulators

  • Unique computing architecture: coherent and incoherent architectures

  • Hardware-algorithm co-optimization

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Methods

CMOS-compatible silicon photonic process platform, photo-electric co-design, advanced packaging

High-speed compact and configuarable photo-electric modulator

Novel computer architecture, MZI-based interfering/non-interfering solutions

Hardware-software co-optimization

Significance

Superior energy efficiency

Ultra-low latency

Strong parallel computing capabilities

Lesser requirement on process node and lower manufacturing cost

oNOC


Optical Network on Chip

Data is transmitted in the optical chip network

  • Accelerates data transmission within a single electronic chip (EIC)

  • Accelerates data communication between multiple electronic chips (EIC) within a single package unit

  • Energy efficiency ratio is as low as < 1pJ/bit, which is 1/6 of eNOC

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Methods

Construction of a communication network topology, connecting single or multiple electrical chips (EIC) via nodes on photonic chip (PIC), enabling high speed data interconnect based on oNOC

Novel network topology based on optical broadcasting and wavelength division multiplexing

Significance

High bandwidth, low energy consumption, low latency, distance-independent

Strong versatility, providing high-speed interconnect among different types of electronic chips

Wide applications in bandwidth-constrained user cases

oNET


Optical Networking

Photonic chip integrated with optical BUS, which collects data within one package unit and interacts with other package units through light propagation medium

  • oNET bandwidth is orders of magnitude greater than eNET

  • oNET energy consumption ~2pJ/bit, which is 1/4 of NVLink3.0

  • oNET latency ~3.5ns, which is 1/3 of NVLink3.0

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Methods

PIC-EIC co-package, PIC with transceiver sends / receives signal and performs electrical-optical / optical-electrical conversion

When sending, data flows from EIC → PIC → External

When receiving, data flows from External → PIC → EIC

Significance

High energy efficiency, low optical propagation loss

High bandwidth, low latency

Distance-independent

History

Timeline

Electronic
chip
Optical
technology

1947

Wlliam Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain from Bell Labs invented the transistor.

1955

The British invented the optical fiber made of extremely thin glass.

1958

Jack Kilby made the first integrated circuit.

1962

Robert N. Hall demonstrated the first laser diode device, which was emitted in the near-infrared band of the spectrum at 850nm.

1965

“Moore’s Law” was proposed.

1969

Dr. Stewart E. Miller from Bell Labs proposed the concept of Integrated Optics.

1970

Corning produced the world’s first fiber with a loss rate of 20 decibels per kilometer.

1971

Intel introduced the world’s first microprocessor 4004.

1976

The first optical fiber communication system with a rate of 44.7Mbits/s was born in an underground pipeline in Atlanta, US.

1993

Intel introduced the Pentium processor, and the manufacturing process was reduced to less than 1 micron for the first time.

2001

The transmission rate of the fourth-generation optical fiber communication system reached 10Tb/s, which was 200 times faster than in the 1980s.

2003

The Pentium 4E series was launched using a 90nm process.

2006

Luxtera launched an optical transceiver based on integrated silicon optical technology, with a single-channel single-wavelength bandwidth of 10Gbps.

2009

The Intel Core I series was launched, using a 32nm process.

2015

Ayar Labs introduced the first microprocessor based on inter-chip optical interconnect technology.

2015

The process technology has entered the 14nm era.

2017

The journal Nature Photonics published Dr. Yichen Shen’s pioneering work on it’s front cover.

2018

The 7nm era begins.

2019

Lightelligence released the prototype of its optical AI computer, which is the first of its kind in the world.

2020

Intel launched the first Ethernet switch based on co-packaged optics technology.

2020

TSMC becomes the world’s only 5nm foundry.

2021

Lightelligence released its latest photonics computing processor PACE, the first side-by-side demonstration of the superiority of optical computing.

2021

Apple books TSMC’s 4nm process capacity in advance.

2022

Samsung begins chip production using 3nm process technology.