What We Do

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 computer chip fabrication processes.



PHD, Founder, CEO Google Scholar

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 55 academic articles and 7 patents. He was previously an R&D engineer working on DRAM and NAND circuits and device physics at Micron Technologies.


PHD, Founder, Chief Scientist Google Scholar

Prior to Lightmatter, Darius obtained his PhD in physics at MIT studying quantum computation and communication using compact nanophotonic circuits. He has developed software to visualize the effect of binary black holes on light with the SXS Caltech-Cornell collaboration. He briefly worked as a Mechanical Engineer—performing large-scale blast experiments and simulating explosions at BakerRisk in Texas. He previously earned his BS degrees in both Physics and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


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.


VP of Engineering Google Scholar

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.


PHD, Director of Software Google Scholar

Prior to joining Lightmatter, Ayon was a Software Architect and Development Manager with MathWorks where he contributed to ten bi-annual releases of the MATLAB language. He co-designed and implemented the novel Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation technology that powers MATLAB and enables optimizations that have improved the performance of MATLAB programs by several orders of magnitude. He has authored multiple papers and patents on JIT compilers and compilers for high-performance computing. Ayon has a PhD in Computer Engineering from Purdue University and a BTech (Honors) in Electronics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.


PHD, Technical Staff Google Scholar

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.


PHD, Technical Staff Google Scholar

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.


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.


PHD, Technical Staff Google Scholar

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.


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.


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.


PHD, Technical Staff Google Scholar

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.


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.


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.


Technical Staff

Brad joins Lightmatter from Cavium, where he contributed to the design of OCTEON and THUNDER-X multicore embedded and server processors. His focus was the micro-architecture and RTL design of the L2 cache subsystem, mesh interconnect, and multi-socket cache-coherent interconnect. Brad also spent time at Cisco Systems, developing ASIC designs for the flagship CSR-1 and CSR-3 core routers. He holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan.


Technical Staff

Before Lightmatter, Gary was a Lead Physical Design engineer at Netronome, where he help design and taped out a number of smart NIC SoCs. While contributing to all aspects of physical design and tool automation, his most recent focus has been on full chip synthesis, integration and timing signoff. Gary has also spent 14 years at Intel Corporation, as an IP Logic, and Physical Design Engineer where contributed to the successful tapeouts of multiple Itanium microprocessors such as Haswell, and Skylake. Gary holds a degree in Computer/Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Technical Staff

Jim has an extensive systems and board design background, working on projects ranging from PCIe cards to larger multi-board 6U chassis. At Tilera, he designed the first characterization and evaluation boards for their multicore CPU SoC and eventually built the systems operations organization. At Mellanox, Jim was a senior manager of a system design team. He’s also been a board designer for Sun Microsystems, Pirus Networks, and Brooktrout Technologies. Jim has his bachelor’s degree from Merrimack College.


PHD, Technical Staff

Prior to joining Lightmatter, Martin was a research scientist at Gamalon, where he contributed to one of the first modular probabilistic programming languages and developed Bayesian machine learning models for natural language processing. Martin completed his PhD in Physics at Harvard University in 2015 and received his masters degree in Physics as a Churchill Scholar at the University of Cambridge.


PHD, Technical Staff

Before joining Lightmatter, Sukeshwar Kannan was a Member of Technical Staff with the Advanced Silicon Packaging Development group at GLOBALFOUNDRIES where he worked on 3D package integration in leading edge technology nodes. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa in 2013. He has authored 58 articles and 6 patents. He is an IEEE senior member and received the Outstanding Industry Liaison Award from Semiconductor Research Corporation in 2017.


PHD, Technical Staff Google Scholar

Carlos joins Lightmatter from Cavium, where he contributed to the design of a multi-protocol high-speed serial link. He received his PhD degree in ECE from Cornell University, where he developed scalable biosensor arrays and wireless biomedical implants. He received his BS degree in EECS from MIT, and MS degree in EE from Boston University; and held internships at IBM, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, and Freescale Semiconductor. His area of expertise is analog and mixed-signal IC design.


PHD, Technical Staff

Prior to Lightmatter, Chithira was a graduate student at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Kerala, India, where she received her PhD degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering. She is specialized in Analog and Mixed Signal Design with her research work primarily focussed on the digital calibration techniques for calibrating the component non-idealities in Pipelined ADCs. In addition to this, Chithira worked with Gigamicro Semiconductors Pvt Ltd, Coimbatore, India, as an Analog Design Engineer where she was responsible for the design of high speed ADCs.


Technical Staff

Katrina joins Lightmatter from Marvell Semiconductor, where she was an Analog Designer working on DDR4/5 PHYs, delay lines, and pahse interpolators. She received her BS and M. Eng. at Cornell University where she studied high speed PLLs.


Technical Staff

Before Lightmatter, Michael Scott spent eight years at Cavium working in deep sub micron nodes. There, he contributed to the analog mask design team on IP ranging from DDR4/5 to high speed SERDES. Prior to Cavium, Michael contracted at various companies such as Qualcomm and AMD. Michael has a degree in Multi-Media.


Technical Staff

Before joining Lightmatter, Sid was a researcher at MIT designing a vision and autonomous navigation system for the MIT Cheetah Robot. He has also pursued entrepreneurship in the field of real-time medical imaging, building an intuitive visualization and guidance system for 3D ultrasounds. He holds a BS degree from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.


Technical Staff

Prior to Lightmatter, Ben was Physical Design Engineer at Intrinsix, AMD, LSI Logic, and GTE Microelectronics. He taped out a great many designs, from Ceramic MCMs to 3 micron single-layer-metal ASICS and all the way down to 7nm FinFET SOCs. Ben holds a BSEE from Duke University.


Office Manager

Renee joins Lightmatter from Nexthink, Inc. where she was the Operations Manager for the US. Previously she worked for Opsview, Adobe and Neolane as part of their global operations teams. Renee has also helped establish the US offices for international finance and venture capital firms. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Brandeis University and an MBA from Bentley University.


PHD, Technical Staff Google Scholar

Prior to joining Lightmatter, Mykhailo was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his PhD in Electrical Engineering. His research was focused on developing ultrathin linear and nonlinear optical elements for wave front manipulation, beam-steering and efficient frequency conversion, as well as novel electronic devices for full-duplex communications. He also contributed to the design and modeling of high-speed electro-optic modulators as a part of the Emerging Materials, Components and Devices team at Nokia Bell Labs.


PHD, Technical Staff Google Scholar

Prior to Lightmatter, Reza was a postdoctoral associate in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT. His research was focused on the fabrication and characterization of nanoelectronic and photonic devices. He's developed superconducting switches, memory devices, and single-photon detectors. He received his Ph.D. in nanoelectronics in 2017 from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. His thesis involved the design, fabrication, and characterization of nanoscale superconducting hybrid Josephson junctions and SQUID devices.


PHD, Technical Staff Google Scholar

Prior to joining Lightmatter, Weilu was a graduate student and a postdoctoral researcher at Rice University, where he obtained his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research was focused on photonics and optoelectronics of low-dimensional materials, including single-wall carbon nanotubes and two-dimensional materials. His research spanned fundamental studies to applications, including silicon photonics, plasmonics, and quantum optics.


Technical Staff

Prior to Lightmatter, Thomas was a research assistant at Harvard University, where he worked on hardware architectures and algorithms for deep learning. He has also worked on time-frequency analysis algorithm for physiological signal decomposition and the associated energy-efficient hardware implementation. Thomas received his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University, and MS degree in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University.


Technical Staff

Subie joins Lightmatter from Google, where he was a technical lead working on distributed data ingestion and quality control systems for hotel search. Before that, Subie was an engineer at ITA Software where he helped launch a novel airline reservation system. Subie received his MS in Computer Science from Stanford University, and his BS in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Technical Staff

Prior to Lightmatter, Ranjini worked as DRAM Product Engineer at Micron Technology. Earlier, she was an intern at Idaho National Laboratory. She holds a Master of Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a specialization in ASIC Design and Circuits. Prior to her Masters, She worked as a Software Engineer at Tesco Retail. In addition, she interned at the Defense Research and Development Organization of India.


PHD, Technical Staff

Nick joins Lightmatter from MathWorks, where he was developing infrastructure for expressing streaming signal processing applications in MATLAB and Simulink. He has worked on automatic analysis and multithreaded execution of task graphs, multithreaded code generation, and a GPGPU application framework. Nick holds a Ph.D. in computer engineering from Northeastern University.


Technical Staff

Prior to joining Lightmatter, Josh was a Digital Test Engineer at Analog Devices where he worked on design-for-test and ATE testing of high speed converters. Josh also worked at Intel where he was involved in DFT use-model validation, ATPG, and test content bring-up on ATEs for Xeon, Xeon Phi, and Itanium processors. Josh received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University and his BS in Computer Systems Engineering from Boston University.


Technical Staff

James joins Lightmatter from Marvell Semiconductor via the Cavium acquisition where he worked on design verification for the Octeon product line. He received his BS and M. Eng from Cornell University where he studied Electrical and Computer Engineering.


PHD, Technical Staff Google Scholar

Nick comes to Lightmatter after a decade of machine learning R&D in industry. He was on various R&D teams at Pearson North America, where he developed software and methods for educational applications such as automated essay scoring. Nick was most recently at HERE Technologies, where he contributed to object detection, semi-supervised learning, and efficient annotation projects. He has a PhD in computer science from University of Colorado at Boulder.


Technical Staff

Prior to Lightmatter, Rutayan was a software engineer at Intel where he worked on developing OpenCL kernels for machine learning primitives for Intel GPUs. He started as a firmware developer at Intel, where for 4 years he delivered firmware for NVMe protocol layer for Intel's optane drives. He also delivered firmware for Intel's first NVMe MI firmware solution. Rutayan holds MS degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida and BS from NIT Surat, India.


Technical Staff

Prior to joining Lightmatter, Peter was studying computer architecture and kernel-level development. He received his BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studied Electrical and Computer Engineering.


PHD, Technical Staff Google Scholar

Prior to joining Lightmatter, Gongyu was a Systems Engineer with the near-data computing group at Micron Technologies. He co-designed and implemented an LLVM-based compiler that enables C/C++ programs to run on Micron’s innovative, near-data, coarse-grained reconfigurable array (CGRA) of processors. He has authored several papers and patents on the compiler and the CGRA. Gongyu obtained his PhD in electrical and computer engineering at University of Florida. He previously earned his BS degree in information science and engineering from Zhejiang University.


Technical Staff

Prior to joining Lightmatter, Amy was a Program Manager at Advanced Micro Devices working in the semi-custom business group to design and develop custom application processing units for game consoles and next generation devices. Amy has worked in both pre-silicon and post-silicon design through roles in hardware engineering, program management and management at companies including Nvidia, Intel, and Advanced Micro Devices. Amy holds a Masters in ECE from Carnegie Mellon University.


Technical Staff

Before Lightmatter, Robert Lavin spent ten years at Cavium/Marvell working in deep sub micron nodes. There, he contributed to the analog mask design team on IP ranging from DDR to high speed SERDES. Prior to Marvell Robert worked at various companies including Mediatek, AMD, Intel, Compaq, Sun, Texas Instruments and Digital.



Board Member

Stan is a General Partner at Matrix Partners.


Board Member

Santo is a co-founder and General Partner at Spark Capital.


Board Member

Tyson is a General Partner at GV (formerly Google Ventures).



Technical Advisor

Dirk Englund received his BS in Physics from Caltech in 2002. Following a Fulbright year at TU Eindhoven, he earned an MS in electrical engineering and a PhD in Applied Physics in 2008, both from Stanford University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University until 2010, when he started his group as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Applied Physics at Columbia University. In 2013, he joined the faculty of MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Dirk’s research focuses on quantum technologies based on semiconductor and optical systems. Recent recognitions include the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the 2011 Sloan Research Fellowship in Physics, the 2012 DARPA Young Faculty Award, the 2012 IBM Faculty Award, an 2016 R&D100 Award, the OSA’s 2017 Adolph Lomb Medal, and the 2017 ACS Photonics Young Investigator Award.


Technical Advisor

After graduating with his B. Sc. in Physics from St. Andrews University, David Miller received his Ph.D. in Physics from Heriot-Watt University in 1979. He was with Bell Laboratories from 1981 to 1996, as a department head from 1987. He is currently the W. M. Keck Professor of Electrical Engineering, and a Co-Director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center at Stanford University. He has been active in professional societies and was President of the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society in 1995. His research interests include physics and devices in nanophotonics, nanometallics, and quantum-well optoelectronics, and fundamentals and applications of optics in information sensing, switching, and processing. He has published more than 260 scientific papers and the text “Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers”, holds 71 patents, has received numerous awards, is a Fellow of OSA, IEEE, APS, and the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London, holds two honorary degrees, and is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

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