Revolutionizing Optical SoC Design with Lightelligence

Kamal Desai

Feb 01, 2023 / 1 min read

By tapping into the power of light through photonics, engineers are finding new ways to increase capacity as well as data transmission of silicon chips. One leading company that’s making waves in the field is Lightelligence, which in 2019 delivered the world’s first integrated optical computer. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and founded in 2017, Lightelligence is committed to enabling exponential improvement in computing power while substantially reducing energy consumption.

The Challenge: Predicting Performance of Complex Multi-Die Systems

Recently, the company was developing a complex, multi-die system-in-package with novel technologies and architecture. It was challenging to predict the system’s performance and power under realistic machine-learning (ML) workloads. The team needed a modern solution that could help define the overall system architecture executing the ML workload. Ideally, the solution would also effectively model performance of their custom SoC consisting of digital, analog, and optical components.

Today’s advanced SoCs contain many interdependencies and interconnects, all of which must be validated holistically to ensure that the system will perform as intended. A traditional method to accomplish this is manual, involving static spreadsheet calculations. The alternative is Synopsys Platform Architect, a dynamic simulation solution that provides SoC architecture analysis and optimization for performance and power.

Implementing Platform Architect: AI Workload Models and Performance Analysis

Lightelligence began using Platform Architect right off the bat for its SoC design. With the solution, the team generated AI workload models, executing their application requirement specifications to create performance models of their hardware architecture, including network topologies. Built-in analysis tools made the process of analyzing the performance impact of the team’s interconnect strategies and creating power monitors for system-level power analysis more productive.

Results and Benefits: Better Fidelity, Earlier Insights

Overall, the company reports achieving better fidelity of results compared to spreadsheet-based analysis and obtaining architecture analysis results much earlier than traditional methods could have provided.

Watch our video on how Lightelligence accelerated the architecture design for their complex SoC design using Platform Architect.

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