How POET Technologies’ Solutions Can Adapt and Grow with A.I. Technology

POET Technologies
5 min readFeb 16, 2022
POET’s Optical Interposer brings added benefits of cost and scale to devices built for A.I. and other high-tech applications.

With artificial intelligence and the demand for it steadily emerging in the marketplace, the need arises for solutions that can accelerate speed and performance of data communications. The POET Optical Interposer platform and the devices that can be built from it are positioned to be game-changers for A.I., and other verticals.

POET’s hybrid integration technology not only drives cost savings and performance benefits for existing markets but it opens the door for many novel applications. The Optical Interposer’s benefits are highlighted in the company’s corporate presentation and the recently announced partnership agreement with Celestial AI underscores the technology’s merits.

“The customized Optical Interposer platform that we have co-developed with POET is among the most advanced of its kind in high-speed computing,” said David Lazovsky, founder and CEO of Celestial AI. “POET’s Light Engines provide us with precision optical power sources in a highly integrated form factor that meet the requirements for our Orion AI accelerator products.”

Celestial AI’s Orion AI accelerator products serve the A.I. chipset market that is projected by Omdia to exceed $70 billion in 2025. As artificial intelligence grows in prominence, Celestial AI figures to be a competitive player. The industry demands a significant amount of innovation and POET can play a role in meeting that demand, for Celestial AI and other prospective partners.

Along with providing an essential light engine for Celestial AI, near-term opportunities for POET include 400G/800G, co-packaged optics, and 5G applications. Healthcare tech and autonomous driving (LiDAR) applications are also in the pipeline. Since these applications rely on photonics solutions and performance at higher speeds, POET has a chance to become the platform of choice for multiple industries.

“When you look at the bigger picture, photonics is penetrating various markets like automotive and healthcare. We are focused on positioning ourselves so we can be in the right place for the right opportunity,” POET Technologies President and General Manager Vivek Rajgarhia said. “Already, photonics is a major part of the A.I. tech that so many of us already use. There are thousands of VCSELs in each smartphone and those VCSELs are used to tell that it’s you through facial-recognition software. That’s just one example that we might all be aware of where lasers are used for an A.I. application and photonics is part of it. There are many, many more and POET looks forward to playing a role in several verticals.”

Optical computing and advancements in the Internet of Things require stand-alone computational and data transmission platforms that can help drive artificial intelligence applications. With photonics, high-speed computing vaults forward because it is driven within chip and by chip-to-chip communication via light. That feature allows photonics to far outperform some semiconductor platforms currently in use. Existing solutions rely on semiconductor-based electronics, often with silicon as the foundation, and while reliable those solutions are limited in the speed they can provide. Datacom and telecom companies are continuing to look for ways to co-package electronics and optics, and to achieve data transmission speeds of 3.2 and 6.4 terabytes per second (Tbps) across 12 to 16 wavelengths with lower energy consumption and higher stability. POET’s solution has the potential to deliver such ground-breaking performance.

Here are three areas where the hybrid integration of photonics and electronics is making a difference, bringing visions of autonomous devices and fast-thinking machines into the marketplace.

  1. Wearables: One of the most exciting developments in personal devices in recent years has been the speed in which wearable health tech has extended into our lives. FitBits were just the beginning of a craze. As noted, “Wearable optical sensors can track multiple vital signs such as heart rate; optical chemical sensors can now measure chemical compositions of body fluids non-invasively (for example, determining blood glucose levels by analyzing human sweat). The functionality and sophistication of heart-rate monitors will continue to increase — for example, monitoring oxygen levels and blood pressure. Other health applications for wearables include UV detection and measuring pollutant levels.”

    The challenge with wearables is making devices whose functionality is not compromised by the skin’s movement and malleability. There are many experiments happening with biocompatible materials and designs that can adapt to changes in the wearer’s skin or temperature. Another challenge is increasing the number of frequencies of light that is generated to query biological functions. POET’s Optical Interposer can both project and detect across many different wavelengths using a single laser, and is drastically smaller than conventionally integrated multi-chip devices. The small footprint allows for more light, more sensing, and more design flexibility, all with lower power consumption.
  2. Robotics: The robotics industry has grown so robust that it has subsections. Utility robots include household helpers such as automated sewing machines and laundry machines that can be attached to a wall to perfectly fold clothes. The market for military robots is predicted to grow to reach $24.2 billion by 2025, according to one industry report. Surgical robots are already helping to save lives as they assist doctors in performing laparoscopic surgery and other tasks. And entertainment robots are here, whether they be dancing animals or sports assistants.

    The next step may be creating robots that can be accurately characterized as humanoid. But doing so is a difficult endeavour that requires cutting-edge photonics applications to succeed. Humanoid robots need to replicate our sensory perception, which requires a massive amount of circuitry and technology that is capable of high-speed data generation, analysis, and communications with the lowest possible power consumption. POET’s Optical Interposer contributes to this in several ways. In robotics, multi-chip systems, similar to those that Celestial AI is building, are key because they allow for rapid inferences built on multiple continuous data inputs to the system, drawing instantaneous conclusions from that data.

    Sensing devices that gather the basic information are also vital to hardware and software architecture in robotics. POET’s platform includes improvements to multiple building blocks relevant to chip-scale sensors, including: multi-level waveguide technology; high-resolution gratings with minimal phase errors; low loss out-of-plane coupling and efficient light detection; and more. Such innovation in optical technology can lead to robots being able to instantaneously sense their surroundings and then via light speed recover data from their memory and apply it to whatever command they are told to execute. The small form factor of the POET-enabled devices and their efficiency means being able to operate at lower power.
  3. Autonomous Driving: The technology that drives robotics is also essential to modern car manufacturing and the steady march toward autonomous driving vehicles. LiDAR (or Light Detection and Ranging) refers to a technology that uses laser products to measure the distance from object to object. It is key to 3D mapping and delivering automotive advancements such as driver-assist functionality. LiDAR tech is everywhere in our new vehicles because car manufacturers have put cameras and sensing devices all over their models. Photonics is helping to propel that adoption and improving the data communications within cars, and between vehicles and their manufacturers. It is technology that can make the roads safer and the vehicles easier to drive.

As those advanced cars, sentient robots, and speedy home helpers enter our private and public spaces, the power of photonics will move closer to reaching its potential. POET is excited that it is poised to be a contributor to the A.I. industry’s growth.



POET Technologies

POET’s Optical Interposer integrates electronic and photonics devices seamlessly into existing infrastructure and provides a platform for multiple applications.