Who we are

Lightmatter is a computer hardware company that uses integrated photonics to create faster and more efficient processors. We accelerate critical operations in deep neural networks using an array of programmable photonic elements fabricated alongside transistors in conventional CMOS processes (the same processes used to make cell phone chips). Advantages of our optical processing technology include speed of light evaluations as well as low power consumption. By accelerating this core AI operation, we can speed up many of the software algorithms underlying image recognition, natural language processing, and more, thereby facilitating the next generation of AI-powered computing.



Nicholas harris, PhD

Founder, President, and CEO

Before Lightmatter, Nick was an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellow and National Science Foundation Fellow at MIT, where he received his PhD in EECS. His doctoral thesis was titled “Programmable nanophotonics for quantum information processing and artificial intelligence”. He has authored 46 peer-reviewed, academic articles and 5 patents. He was previously an R&D engineer working on DRAM and NAND circuits and device physics at Micron Technologies.

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Darius bunandar, PHD

Founder, Chief Scientist

With the SXS Caltech-Cornell collaboration, Darius developed software to visualize the effect of binary black holes on light. He spent a year performing large-scale blast experiments and simulating explosions at BakerRisk. Darius is completing his Physics PhD at MIT studying quantum computation and communication using compact nanophotonic circuits. He previously received BS in both Physics and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.



Thomas graham

Founder, COO

Prior to Lightmatter, Thomas held product management, operations, and business development roles at Google and other Alphabet businesses. Thomas started his career in investment banking and capital markets at Morgan Stanley, advising corporations on mergers, acquisitions, and capital raises. He is completing his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and earned his bachelor's degree in Science, Technology, and International Affairs from Georgetown University.


Carl Ramey

VP of Engineering

Prior to joining Lightmatter, Carl was a Senior Principal Engineer with Mellanox Corporation where he helped define a highly flexible SoC architecture for integrated multicore products. Carl has successfully taped out processors and SoCs at companies including Digital Semiconductor (Alpha), StarGen, Tilera, and Mellanox. He has authored multiple papers and patents related to multicore processors and on-chip interconnect design. Carl holds a Masters in ECE from Carnegie Mellon University.


Michael Gould, PHD

Photonics Designer

Prior to joining Lightmatter Mike worked on a wide range of projects, both academic and industrial. During graduate school, his research focused primarily on silicon photonics, integrated quantum optics, and optics-based sensing. He has also worked at HP Labs and was most recently doing microfabrication for Stratos Genomics. Mike holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington.

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Tomo Lazovich, Phd

Machine Learning Scientist

Tomo joins Lightmatter from Draper, where he was a research scientist in the Machine Intelligence group. There he worked on multiple DARPA funded programs, including applying machine learning to the automated detection of security vulnerabilities in software and studying the dynamics of human-AI teams. Tomo completed his PhD in Physics at Harvard University in 2016. His dissertation focused on the discovery and measurement of the Higgs boson, as well as searches for new physics in the Higgs sector. 

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Ryan Braid

Senior Digital Designer

Ryan has over 10 years of digital design experience at Intel, holding roles in design and validation of a variety of ASIC designs from XML accelerator technologies to low power Intel Atom based SoCs. This includes development of scalable processor subsystem for Intel's 14nm LTE modem capable of gigabit speeds. Ryan holds a degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Toledo.



Ozgur Yildirim, PhD

Senior Analog Design Engineer

Ozgur brings 7 years of academic and 7 years of industry experience in RF/analog/mixed-signal integrated circuits to Lightmatter. His past designs include PLLs, data converters, SerDes and DDR receivers, MEMS readout circuits, and soliton/chaotic/nonlinear electronics. He has taped out numerous chips in a variety of technologies, including GaAs HEMT and finFET CMOS. He earned his BS and MS degrees in EE from METU, Turkey, and PhD degree in Applied Physics from Harvard University.     

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