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Lightmatter Appoints Intel Veteran Ritesh Jain as VP of Engineering, Systems and Packaging

Lightmatter, the leader in photonic computing, has named its new Vice President of Engineering, Ritesh Jain. He joins Lightmatter after more than 21 years at Intel leading systems and packaging engineering for data center programs. This follows the recent appointments of Jessie Zhang, VP of Finance, and Steve Klinger, VP of Product.

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“Lightmatter has created a ground-breaking photonics technology platform that squarely addresses the most fundamental challenges related to performance scaling and energy efficiency in next-generation accelerated compute systems”

Jain served as Vice President of Intel’s Data Center and Artificial Intelligence group. Over the span of two decades, he built and led several cross-functional engineering teams globally and was part of several major technology transitions and initiatives for data center products, including the Ponte Vecchio GPU and yet-to-be-released Aurora Supercomputer. At Lightmatter, Jain will leverage his at-scale expertise and passion for sustainability to lead packaging and systems development for Lightmatter’s next-generation compute and interconnect products.

“By 2030, 20% of energy consumption across the planet will be from data centers. That’s a staggering number. Lightmatter is tackling this problem with tech many believed to be impossible until just a few years ago,” said Ritesh Jain, newly appointed Vice President of Engineering at Lightmatter. “This is one of the most important environmental issues to solve when you factor in the immense strain AI will put on the grid. Silicon photonics solves this issue in a big way, and it’s a challenge I’m excited to take on with some of the brightest minds in the industry.”

Serving as the new VP of Finance, Jessie Zhang will lead Lightmatter’s commercial aspirations and manage teams to drive profitable growth. With over a decade of experience leading corporate financial planning and analysis at Apple and 14 years at Cisco, she brings valuable experience in financial planning and analysis, sales, marketing, and supply chain to the team.

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“Lightmatter’s cutting-edge photonic technology inspired me to join this passionate team that strives to redefine the industry, protect the environment, and radically change peoples’ lives,” said Jessie Zhang, VP of Finance at Lightmatter.

As the new VP of Product, Steve Klinger is focused on productization efforts for the company’s photonic AI accelerator product line, Envise, as well as programmable photonic interconnect product, Passage. Prior to joining Lightmatter, Klinger most recently served as a VP of Product at Innovium and General Manager of infrastructure processor and networking and communications groups at Cavium. He is known for leading the adoption of industry-benchmark processor and networking silicon products utilized by top global equipment OEM’s and hyperscale cloud operators.

“Lightmatter has created a ground-breaking photonics technology platform that squarely addresses the most fundamental challenges related to performance scaling and energy efficiency in next-generation accelerated compute systems,” said Steve Klinger, Lightmatter VP of Product. “I look forward to helping drive these solutions to rapid market deployment with our key customers and partners.”

“There is a desperate need for powerful computing solutions that don’t exist today. We need the very best people in our corner to continue to push the boundaries and innovate as we deploy this technology at scale,” said Nick Harris, co-founder and CEO of Lightmatter. “Ritesh, Steve, and Jessie all share a passion for sustainability and have proven track records in their fields that will be incredible assets to the entire team.”

Lightmatter is a pioneer in the design and development of photonic compute and interconnect, having raised $113M to date. The company will be the first to bring this revolutionary technology to market this year, a historic feat considering many believed this technology was merely a pipedream. New hires such as this are proof that the semiconductor and chip industry recognize the need for a more sustainable, faster, and more dynamic computing solution for the future.

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