KIT’s spinoff emmtrix Technologies GmbH facilitates programming of multi-core processors and, thus, enhances performance of embedded computer systems.
What is already standard in desktop computers and laptops is increasingly applied in the area of embedded systems, such as telecommunication devices, automotive electronics or industrial control systems: Processors of two or more processor cores for higher speed and enhanced computing power. The higher performance of multi-core processors compared to single-core processors is only reached, if the tasks are distributed appropriately to several processor cores in an efficient and problem-free manner. So far, such a parallelization has been accomplished manually: This is very time-consuming, cost intensive and requires special programming knowledge.
A team of scientists of from the KIT Institute for Information Processing Technology (ITIV) headed by Professor Jürgen Becker started to look for solutions to simplify parallelization of multi-core processors already in 2011. Within the framework of the EU project “Algorithm Parallelization for Multi-core Architectures“ (ALMA), the scientists, in cooperation with industry partners, developed an innovative programming environment. The computer scientists and electrical engineers Dr.-Ing. Timo Stripf, Michael Rückauer and Oliver Oey were part of this research team. Based on the software tool developed in ALMA, they decided to start their own company. “About 40 person-years had been spent for the development. When the project was completed, we decided to start a company to make the technology available for the industry,” Timo Stripf explains.
A first attempt was made nearly two years ago. With the help of the EXIST Transfer of Research fund, the scientists wanted to make their first steps towards starting their own business. “At that time, we were too much focused on our technology,” Timo Stripf admits. “We completely underestimated the importance of business knowledge. We did not succeed in acquiring funding.” This setback, however, was no reason to give up the plans to establish an own company. The team realized that it is missing management know-how. In 2015, this gap was closed by Frederik Riar, who came from the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. With a perfectly prepared pitch, the team convinced the EXIST jury in the following application round.
Since then, the four man team works on setting up their spinoff company and developing their product further. “It has always been an option for me to found a company. You can create your own future, shape your environment, and solve problems every day. Decisions have to be made very quickly and are directly reflected in the product. It never gets boring,” Frederik Riar says. The team was also supported by KIT staff: “In the beginning, the Center for Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship (CIE) helped us to outline our idea in more concrete terms. The staff of the KIT Innovation Management Service Unit provided advice on topics such as patenting and funding. We also had the opportunity to exchange and network with other persons during events, barbecues, the upCAT accelerator program or the Venture Fest. We would not be where we are now without the helpful feedback from outside,” Timo Stripf says.
This year, emmtrix Technologies start providing its software and the pertinent consulting services to the industry. Users are guided through the automated parallelization process by the “emmtrix Parallel Studio”. Code of mathematical software systems, such as MATLAB and Scilab, is converted into the programming language C/C++. Then, this code is parallelized automatically, which means that the partial tasks are distributed to several cores. Frederik Riar explains: “Companies can profit from our tools in all areas, where software for embedded multicore systems with high-performance requirements is developed. Thanks to automation and integration of hardware-specific details into our products, development costs are reduced. Development is also accelerated and, hence, response times to market changes are shortened. This results in significant competitive advantages for our clients.”
2016 is an important year for the emmtrix founders. “The product launch at trade shows is a milestone for our company and an important step to attract customers and strategic partners. We want to shape the development community and are very optimistic that we will succeed in positioning our technology successfully in the market. This is what we work for with high commitment,” young entrepreneur Timo Stripf emphasizes.
emmtrix Technologies GmbH
Dr. Timo Stripf