Lightfleet Delivers First Optical Interconnect System to Microsoft Research

Kali Bean

CAMAS, Wash. – April 20, 2010 – Lightfleet Corporation today announced that it has sold and installed its first commercial alpha unit at Microsoft Research. Lightfleet’s Direct Broadcast Optical Interconnect (DBOI) system uses broadcast light to reinvent the way computing nodes are connected in next generation data centers. Lightfleet’s DBOI technology creates a switchless optical fabric that enables all nodes to communicate with all other nodes simultaneously, breaking the performance barriers of today’s typical interconnect architectures. Engineered to meet the growing demands for green computing in an energy-efficient, high density form factor, Lightfleet’s capabilities offer unique parallel computing opportunities that allow for building efficient, high-performance cloud infrastructures that deliver more scalability, power savings and cost savings than ever before.

Delivery of the blade-based system, which uses Lightfleet’s optical interconnect technology and is ported to Windows, represents Lightfleet’s first customer shipment and a critical milestone in the company’s goal to solve distributed computing’s architectural bottleneck. Microsoft Research’s eXtreme Computing Group is exploring the potential of Lightfleet’s optical interconnect in cloud computing workloads. The group’s mission is to develop radical new approaches to computing hardware, and reliable, secure exascale software systems.

Lightfleet’s systems use broadcast light to break the inherent limitations of switched fabrics. The performance combines high throughput, low latency and the node-to-node data arrival skew typical of a shared memory system. This is achieved by utilizing the company’s patented DBOI technology and a shadowed-memory programming model which uniquely combines the benefits of large scale shared memory computing with the benefits of a standard, high volume distributed architecture.

John Peers, Lightfleet CEO, said, “The installation of this system at Microsoft Research is a key step to realizing the full potential of our technology. Lightfleet’s DBOI technology fundamentally changes the way communication among computing systems is achieved and we look forward to working with Microsoft to develop next-generation server and data center architectures that are highly scalable and offer new opportunities for massively parallel, distributed computing.”

As data center complexity increases and energy costs grow, input/output optimization and server consolidation are inevitable. The Lightfleet DBOI is designed to serve evolving cloud computing and virtualization demands. The company has received significant interest from the federal government and from Wall Street retail brokerage and investment management firms, market data firms and exchanges that realize the benefits of the technology ranging from high performance to general purpose computing. More information and a technical white paper are available at

About Lightfleet Corp.

Lightfleet was founded in 2003 by a team of individuals seeking to deliver simplified solutions in the increasingly complex world of computing. Drawing from diverse backgrounds in optics, signal processing, neural computing, massively parallel processing, and semiconductor design, Lightfleet is uniquely positioned to design faster, cooler, and more compact platforms than have previously existed. By leveraging the properties of light, Lightfleet brings enhanced value to our customers and partners in the form of efficient, flexible, and affordable systems to meet a range of compute needs including transaction processing, data mining, visualization, simulation, and high-throughput, large-scale application processing. Lightfleet’s headquarters are located in Camas, Washington. More information is available at OEMs should contact, Media should contact

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