Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
Lightmatter is a pioneer in the design and development of photonic computing - processors that use light and advanced optics to run faster and more efficiently than anything else on earth. The company's revolutionary hardware and software is purpose-built to power the next generation of artificial intelligence applications across industries.
Although Lightmatter's processors use optical technology, the hardware still needs to connect to conventional computer systems for the intense processing required by artificial intelligence. This meant the units are housed in rack-mounted server systems, with the usual space and ventilation constraints that this brings. Lightmatter products needed an industrial design language for a range of different servers that reflected Lightmatter's brand positioning as well as its unique technology. The design team used the geometry of 'lightguides' that create the optical interference at the heart of Lightmatter's chips as inspiration to develop a unique pattern for Lightmatter products that is instantly recognisable and is built from the same lines and curvature used in the brand identity.
Photonic, or optical, computers have long been the ultimate goal for information processing, given their potential for high bandwidth and low power computation. Lightmatter was the first to successfully combine photonics and electronics into an entirely new optical (super)computer, delivering on the promise of highly power-efficient, parallel computation with light.
Lightmatter's processors use photonic circuits that perform the calculations by manipulating the path of light using optical interference. The design of Lightmatter products has been unified and differentiated with the development of a design language based on the interference at the heart of Lightmatter's chips.
The coherent design approach connected across every touch-point including brand positioning, product naming, digital design, industrial design and visual identity. Design is used to position photonics as the new computing paradigm and Lightmatter as the company ready to take the world into the future. Design helps make the complex technology user-friendly and exemplifies the company's revolutionary technology.
By developing an industrial design language based on a unique pattern that is easy to scale to different form factors it could be simply applied to three main components; the Lightmatter chip itself, the Envise Blade a compact rack-mountable architecture and the Passage, a wafer-scale, programmable photonic interconnect that enables arrays of heterogeneous chips to communicate with unprecedented bandwidth and energy efficiency.
The front face of each product is made from CNC machined aluminium, featuring the Light- matter interference pattern. Aluminium is light, strong and easy to recycle and easy to perforate, which helps with ventilation issues. The units are sleek and minimal, with the styling of a high-end audio unit rather than traditional backroom server components. The Lightmatter logo is applied to each product with holographic film symbolising light at the heart of each device.
Lightmatter products will accelerate computing advancements that address humanity's biggest challenges while reducing the environmental impact on the planet.