Photonic ‘FPGA’ developer ships SmartLight Processor

Photonic ‘FPGA’ developer ships SmartLight Processor

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Spanish startup iPronics SA (Valencia, Spain) has shipped programmable photonic integrated circuits to multiple companies operating in different sectors.

Customers include a multinational telecommunications and electronics company, a European optical networking company and a large US technology company, the company said but did not name the companies.

iPronics was founded in 2019 as a spinoff of Universitat Politècnica de València by Daniel Pérez- López, Professor José Capmany and Iñaki Berenguer. The programmable photonic IC architecture inspired by the electronic FPGA. The photonic array is a hexagonal mesh of two-dimensional photonic waveguides that incorporate programmable Mach-Zehnder interferometers. A large variety of functions can be performed on the seven-cell hexagonal array.

A photonic microchip can use less power and be faster than electrical chips while processing far more information.

The SmartLight Processor allows the reconfiguration of a common photonic hardware platform through software. The product has applications in 5G/6G signal processing, datacentres, machine learning, AI, and computing. As with the FPGA, the programmable nature of the SmartLight Processor reduces time to market and total costs for system design, prototyping, and production.

“For a company that was founded just prior to the pandemic, it is almost unprecedented to move so swiftly from development to shipping our first commercial orders supporting a variety of applications,” said Mark Halfman, CEO of iPronics, in a statement.

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