Amid quantum computing boom, Spanish company iPronics pockets 3.7 million euros to develop programmable photonic chips

Valencia-based iPronics, a pioneering photonics computing company, announced on Wednesday that it had secured 3.7 million euros in an investment round led by Amadeus Capital Partners. Caixa Capital Risc also participated in the round.

The company says the latest capital will help it expand its engineering and product development team to bring the Field Programmable Photonic Gate Array (FPPGA) chip to market.

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iPronics, a spin-off from the Technical University of Valencia and recipient of an EIC Transition Grand, previously raised €1 million in funding from co-founder and tech entrepreneur Inaki Berenguer.

What does iPronics solve?

Emerging technology trends in autonomous vehicles and LIDAR, 5G signal processing, drug discovery, and others require much faster, more flexible, and power-efficient computing.

Even though advanced electronic chips such as GPUs, TPUs or FPGAs have increased their capabilities, they still cannot meet performance requirements, the company says.

Computational photonics (i.e. photonic chips) becomes the solution, thanks to lower latency, lower power consumption (photons/light consumes less power than electrons), band 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 a photonic chip for each of these applications is impractical,” says Professor Jose Capmany, a member of the IEEE and the Optical Society of America and co-founder of iPronics.

iPronics: what you need to know

The Spanish company has developed a new generation of photonic circuits where standard hardware can be programmed using software for various applications via a mesh of on-chip waveguides and tunable beam couplers.

The chip can also be reconfigured and used for new business applications with lower total cost, risk mitigation, lower power consumption and latency, and faster computing speed.

Professor Jose Capmany says: “Reconfigurability of photonic chips with software is the answer.

The company has developed seven technology patents and published at least four seminal papers in Nature.

Amelia Armour, Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners, said: “As long-term investors in disruptive chip design technology, we are delighted to support the team that pioneered the concept of programmable photonics and demonstrated it. for the first time in the laboratory. We look forward to helping the team commercialize the chip at scale.”

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Sherry J. Basler