NLM Photonics is a photonics company developing cutting-edge solutions for transforming networking, computing, and sensing alongside our partners in the US and Europe.
Based on 20+ years of research from the University of Washington (UW), our technology enables low-voltage, low-power, high-performance transfer of data between electronics — on ubiquitous computer chips – and photonics, the technology used in fiber optics, LIDAR, and other groundbreaking technologies. NLM’s technology enables tighter and more efficient integration of current electronics and ultra-fast photonics. Photonics is a better way to move our current deluge of data and develop the future of technology infrastructure.
Our industry and NLM’s origin story.
In 2000, researchers at the University of Washington (UW), the University of Southern California, and industrial collaborators reported a breakthrough in telecommunications technology from a team led by Professor Larry Dalton. In 2000, researchers at the UW, the University of Southern California, and industrial collaborators reported a breakthrough in telecommunications technology from a team led by Professor Larry Dalton. This innovation — called an “opto-chip” — utilized high-performance organic electro-optic (OEO) materials and enabled ultra-efficient encoding of information on beams of light (photonics) and was posited to enable real-world applications such as ubiquitous broadband, real-time digital video delivery and conferencing, high-definition 3D displays, and integrated sensors for autonomous cars. These incredible technologies were futuristic when most people still accessed the internet through dial-up modems and DSL lines were state-of-the-art.
All the above technologies were invented using traditional semiconductors (CMOS) and fiber optics during an era All the above technologies were invented using traditional semiconductors (CMOS) and fiber optics due to the power of Moore’s Law and conventional silicon-based infrastructure. However, as computing has become increasingly distributed and specialized, a demand has emerged for innovative technologies to handle the tremendous amounts of data moving between the cloud, edge devices, and the Internet of Things. Furthermore, this distribution of computing has abstracted its energy use and carbon footprint from consumers. We need new power-efficient, scalable solutions for this next generation of computing.
Over these past two decades, research developments at UW and elsewhere led to a transformation in electro-optic device technology, setting records in material electro-optic sensitivity and device efficiency, bandwidth, and size. Under our original company name, Nonlinear Materials Corporation, our team formed by combining these OEO researchers with veterans from Microsoft and the startup world, who bring a proven record of technological transformation.
NLM is at the forefront of the photonics revolution, building the bridge between electronics and photonics.
NLM develops photonic components for a wide range of applications in computing and networking. We continually optimize OEO materials and processing methods to improve specific applications, tailor them to industry needs and requirements, and effectively integrate them into devices. Our materials and devices are scientifically-backed through rigorous R&D with NLM’s current technology cited in over 50 peer-reviewed publications. The NLM team collectively accounts for several hundred peer-reviewed publications on OEO materials and related technologies over the last 20 years.
Our vision is that NLM solutions will enable building a new high-efficiency, high-performance photonic platform on top of existing CMOS and silicon photonics, hybridizing the best of these platforms and efficiently bridging between them. NLM technology will also will provide key components for quantum computing and networking, mmWave communications, optical computing, and other emerging technologies. We are partnering across the semiconductor industry, computing, and telecommunications ecosystem to make this happen.
Our team cannot wait to connect with you.
We’re excited about the future and remain committed to our mission to bring photonic solutions for computing and high-speed communications to the world. Now’s the time. Won’t you join us?