Optalysys Raises $4 Million to Break Bottlenecks in Genomic Research and Big Data Analysis
GLASSHOUGHTON, WEST YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom and RENO, Nev., Sept. 20, 2017 — Optalysys Ltd. (@Optalysys), a start-up pioneering the development of light-speed optical coprocessors, today announced the company raised 3.95 million U.S. dollars / 3.05 million British pounds from undisclosed angel investors. Optalysys will use the funds to manufacture the first commercially available high-performance computing (HPC) processor based on its patented optical processing technology.
“In many industries today, the demand for faster processing far exceeds the capabilities of conventional computing technology,” said Dr. Nick New, CEO of Optalysys. “Until now, only large universities and organizations have had the means to use this kind of computing muscle. Our aim is to make supercomputing levels of processing power accessible to a much wider audience of scientists and researchers – which will promote more rapid advancement in such fields as precision medicine and machine learning, whilst addressing some of the fundamental limitations of conventional computing.”
Because its coprocessor excels at rapid and accurate pattern recognition (required for Big Data processing) and mathematical model generation applications, genomic sequence alignment is the first of many application areas targeted by Optalysys.
On Aug. 31, Optalysys demonstrated the latest prototype for genomic searching at the Genome 10k/Genome Science conference held in Norwich, U.K. Optalysys partner, The Earlham Institute (EI), presented sequence alignment results that were produced using the Optalysys prototype.
“Our prototype is on track to achieve game-changing improvements to process times over current methods whilst providing high levels of accuracy that are associated with the best software processes,” said Emma Blaylock, director, chief commercial officer at Optalysys.
Optalysys is developing optical HPC systems with the potential to exceed what can be achieved with electronics at a fraction of the cost and energy consumption. Its coprocessor is based on an established diffractive optical approach that uses low-power laser light in place of electricity for processing. This inherently parallel method enables increased processing capacity that is highly scalable.