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Forget quantum computing! This startup just raised €3.7M to develop photonic computing

Image credits: iPronics

iPRONICS, a Valencia-based startup pioneering photonic computing company, has secured a €3.7M investment led by Amadeus Capital Partners, with participation from Caixa Capital Risc. 

The proceeds will help the company expand the engineering team and product development to bring the company’s Field Programmable Photonic Gate Array (FPPGA) chip to market.

Previously, the Spanish company raised €1M in funding from co-founder and tech entrepreneur Inaki Berenguer. 

Other strategic angel investors back the company, including successful tech executives and entrepreneurs from Google, Facebook, Carto, Freshly, Endeavor, Oracle, Deloitte, Ferrovial, and Clicars. 

Although advanced electronic chips like GPUs, TPUs, or FPGAs have increased their capabilities, they still cannot keep up with performance requirements, and today’s hardware has become the bottleneck. 

Computational photonics 

As a result, computational photonics (i.e. photonic chips) is becoming the solution because it provides lower latency, lower power consumption (photons/light consume less energy than electrons), higher bandwidth, and higher density.

“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,” says 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.”

Technical University of Valencia spinoff

iPronics, a spinoff of the Technical University of Valencia and beneficiary of an EIC Transition Grant, has introduced a new generation of photonic circuits where standard hardware can be programmed using software for various applications through a mesh of on-chip waveguides and tunable beam couplers. 

To date, the company has developed seven technology patents and published at least four seminal papers in the journal Nature. 

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”.

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