€3.7m for FPPGA programmable photonic chip

€3.7m for FPPGA programmable photonic chip

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

iPronics in Spain has raised €3.7m to accelerate development of its reconfigurable programmable able photonics chips for 5G networks, data centres, and real-time deep learning.

iPronics has developed photonic circuits where common hardware can be programmed using software for a wide variety of applications through a mesh of on-chip waveguides and tunable beam couplers. Like electronic FPGAs, the reconfigurability of the Field Programmable Photonic Gate Array (FPPGA) shortens development time and reduces the cost and risk of projects, says the company. 

The company is a spinoff of the Technical University of Valencia and has filed seven patents on the technology. The funding will be used to expand the engineering team and product development to bring the FPPGA to market the company’s chip.

The company has also been developing the simulation, design and routing software needed for the chip (see above) and has opened a beta testing programme.

The investment was led by Herman Hauser’s Amadeus Capital Partners, with participation from Caixa Capital Risc in its first major round alongside an EIC Transition Grant for €2.5m and over  €1m in angel funding.

“We know that photonic computing is the answer to many of the bottlenecks of new killer applications, but designing and building one photonic chip for each of those applications is not practical,” said Prof. Jose Capmany, Fellow of the IEEE and Optical Society of America, and co-founder of iPronics. “Reconfigurability of photonic chips with software is the answer.”

Amelia Armour, Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners, added: “As long term investors in disruptive chip design technology, we are excited to back the team that pioneered the concept of programmable photonics and first demonstrated it in the lab. We look forward to helping the team to bring the chip to market at scale”.

Previous strategic angel investors include successful tech executives and entrepreneurs from Google, Facebook, Carto, Freshly, Endeavor, Oracle, Deloitte, Ferrovial, and Clicars among others. The company had previously received €1m in funding from co-founder and tech entrepreneur Inaki Berenguer.

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