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24 October, 2012 - 08:16 By Tony Quested

Debug technology wins £1m investment

UltraSoc co-founders, from left to right, chief technical officer Dr Andrew Hopkins, chief executive Dr Karl Heeks and chief scientist Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier

Groundbreaking technology company UltraSoC Technologies has received an investment worth £1 million from Octopus Investments to roll out its new debug technology to major semiconductor companies throughout the world.

Spun-out from the UK universities of Essex and Kent in 2008, UltraSoC was founded by Cambridge entrepreneur Dr Karl Heeks and Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier, Research Director at the University of Essex’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.

The pioneering debugging technology developed by UltraSoC will be potentially used by semi-conductor companies around the world for microchips with wide ranging applications from laptops, smart phones and data processing systems to cars.

The investment from Octopus will enable initial commercial activity by UltraSoC to help take its technology to the market.

Professor David Sanders, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise at the University, said: “I am really excited to see the University’s spin-out company becoming so successful, providing vital technology to the industry and demonstrating the impact of our research.”

Octopus previously invested £2 million in UltraSoC in 2010. Principal in the ventures team at Octopus, Luke Hakes, said: “The team at UltraSoC has developed an impressive technology that is set to revolutionise the way people approach debugging.

“The benefits it can bring are dramatic and we are confident in UltraSoC’s ability to achieve continued rapid growth as its products come to market. It is becoming clear that companies that select the UltraSoC technology will enjoy significant advantages over their competitors.

“Since we first invested in 2010, the team has delivered on its promise and we look forward to continuing to support the business going forward.”

Dr Heeks, CEO of UltraSoC, said: “We are delighted to receive the continued support of our major investor as we enter into this exciting next phase of the Company’s development where we look to bring our product to market.

“The complexity of modern electronic systems based on multicore architectures where large complex application software is running on different IP blocks from different vendors requires a new approach to debug technology. We are developing a ground-breaking debug and optimisation capability which will facilitate this.”

The core technology being used by UltraSoC was initially supported by substantial funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

In 2009 seed funding worth £400,000 was secured from the South East Seed Fund and Iceni Seedcorn Fund which allowed the company to open an office in Cambridge and progress the research work into a demonstration stage.• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: UltraSoc co-founders, from left to right, chief technical officer Dr Andrew Hopkins, chief executive Dr Karl Heeks and chief scientist Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier.


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