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Quintessent announces $11.5 million in Seed funding


The company says the investment will accelerate the development of its technologies to enable scalable, reliable, and sustainable optical interconnects

Quintessent, a start-up focusing on heterogeneous silicon photonics and quantum dot laser technology, has announced that it has closed on just over $11.5 million in an oversubscribed Seed funding round. Osage University Partners (OUP) led the round along with new investors including M Ventures, and joining existing investors Sierra Ventures, Foothill Ventures, and Entrada Ventures.

The proliferation of AI is catalysing a rapid transition and growth of the world’s computing infrastructure from general-purpose architectures to ones specifically designed for accelerated computing. This new paradigm of computing requires the orchestration of massively parallel units of distributed but interconnected compute resources at the cluster or datacentre scale. As a result, data movement efficiency of the interconnecting fabric is a critical bottleneck to accelerating system performance at scale.

Achieving sustainable growth of computing and data movement will require new technologies and architectures that can match the rapid progression of bandwidth (density) scaling from computing and switching interfaces while simultaneously minimising power, latency, fibre count, chip size, and total cost of ownership. In addition, to enable practical deployment at scale and ensure quality of service, significant improvements in reliability relative to today’s solutions are required.

“We are grateful for the support from our new and existing investors who all recognise the need for foundational innovations to catalyse sustainable and reliable interconnect scaling for the era of accelerated computing,” said Alan Liu, CEO and co-founder of Quintessent. “This new funding allows us to grow our team and accelerate the development of highly scalable and highly reliable optical interconnects that transcend the scaling limitations of incumbent solutions, built on top of a unique technology stack including our multi-wavelength comb laser.”

Manny Stockman, a Partner at OUP who will be joining Quintessent’s Board of Directors, commented: “Novel chip-scale laser architectures have rarely been the focus of today’s photonics companies because the industry is still so nascent and focused in on engineered solutions. But at OUP, as we observed various AI and computing hardware companies push the limits of bandwidth and packaging with optical systems, we found they were all challenged by the scaling and cost of their optical laser source. Quintessent’s plans to productise interconnect solutions powered by multi-wavelength quantum dot comb lasers may become one of the most critical product developments in photonics at just the right time to intercept the surging demand for optical connectivity at the largest computing corporations in the world.”

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