U.S.-based computational science and artificial intelligence company Altair has announced a $10 million seed investment in Indian-founded Xscape Photonics, a startup focused on developing photonic chips for ultrahigh-bandwidth connections in data centres and high-performance computing systems.

Xscape's technology aims to connect various computing elements in an environmentally sustainable way using photonics, which can reduce power consumption and heat production while increasing the speed and power of communications.

The startup is led by professors Alexander Gaeta, Keren Bergman, and Michal Lipson from Columbia University, along with research scientist Yoshi Okawachi and senior principal engineer Vivek Raghunathan, who previously led Intel's first SiPh product ramp.

As part of the investment, Altair CEO James R. Scapa will take a seat on Xscape's board of directors and Altair will also have a seat on the board of observers.

Scapa commented, "This investment and collaboration with some of the world’s best innovators in photonics will allow us to stay at the cutting edge of such high-fidelity and advanced technologies that will help our customers solve their problems more efficiently as they look to the next generation of hardware.”

Xscape believes that photonics has significant potential for high-speed data transfer, which is relevant for software used in simulation, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.