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.

TEAM

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Nicholas harris, PhD

Founder, 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 50 academic articles and 7 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.

 

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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 completed his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and earned his bachelor's degree in Science, Technology, and International Affairs from Georgetown University.

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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.

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Michael Gould, PHD

Technical Staff

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

Technical Staff

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

Technical Staff

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.

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Ozgur Yildirim, PhD

Technical Staff

Ozgur brings 7 years of academic and 7 years of industry experience at Cavium 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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Scott MCKENZIE

Technical Staff

Scott joins Lightmatter from Cavium, where he was a Senior Verification Engineer. There he helped design and verify a variety of custom accelerators focused on security, networking, and storage. Scott has also worked as a member of Intel's Many Integrated Core team where he contributed to the Xeon Phi product line. Scott holds a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University.    

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Jon Elmhurst

Technical Staff

Prior to Lightmatter, Jon was a Physical Design Engineer at Mellanox Corporation where he worked on a number of SOC designs, including the successful tape out of a large multi-processor SOC.  Jon has contributed to successful tape outs at a number of companies throughout his career including Arrow Electronics, Sandburst Corporation, Avici Systems, and WYLE Electronics.  Jon holds a BSEE from Purdue University.

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Ben GuinsbUrg

Technical Staff

Prior to joining Lightmatter, Ben attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science. During his time there, he participated in the ACM Machine Learning Club and the Astronomy Club. His was previously an intern at Dentsply-Sirona, where he did development on CAD/CAM dentistry and automated design tools.

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Don Cummings

HR Staff

Prior to Lightmatter, Don helped Acacia Communications more than double in employee size during and after its run up to a successful IPO in 2016.  He has 25 years of technical and executive level recruiting experience, primarily with VC backed disruptive tech startups. His network is particularly deep in semiconductors, electronics and optical communications.  He has a BS in Marketing from UMass Lowell.

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Shashank Gupta, Phd

Technical Staff

Prior to Lightmatter, Shashank was a graduate student at Stanford University, where he received his PhD in Electrical Engineering. His research work there was based on realizing silicon-compatible optical interconnects by developing a light source using germanium. In addition, Shashank worked with the optical interconnects group at IMEC where he was responsible for development of germanium electro-absorption modulators. Prior to that, Shashank held a Engineer-Technology position at Applied Materials where he was a part of the 'Germanium Transistor Pathfinding' project.

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John Sweeney

Technical Staff

Prior to Lightmatter John was a Principal Engineer at Cavium where he recently lead the verification of a multi-protocol SERDES and architected an analog mixed signal verification environment using SystemVerilog and UVM. Earlier at Cavium John lead the verification of a Crypto acceleration chip and developed an deployed several verification methodology improvements. Prior to Cavium, John held verification leadership positions at AMD, Intel, Sun and Digital. John received his BSEE from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and holds several patents.

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Tyler Kenney

Technical Staff

Prior to Lightmatter, Tyler was an R&D engineer at IBM where he worked on the microarchitecture design, LLVM compiler and runtime library for an FPGA-based OpenCL system featuring an advanced vector processor. Tyler holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Engineering from Lehigh University.