A University of Oxford spinout using machine learning to simulate designs for technologies such as semiconductors has secured £4.5m in funding.
Oxfordshire-based Machine Discovery has created a software platform to predict how designs might behave in certain situations.
The company claims its emulation technology can drastically increase the speed of compute-intensive simulations.
Its first commercial application is for semiconductor designs, with the company using neural networks to “predict complex circuit performance with the click of the button”.
The company is aiming to halve the analog semiconductor product development cycle by 2026.
It will use the funding – led by investors BGF and East Innovate – to expand headcount in business development and engineering teams, both in the UK and US.
“Early customer results in analog semiconductor design have shown the potential of the technology to massively accelerate the time to develop new products, which will enable leading semiconductor players to differentiate themselves in the market,” said Luke Rajah, investor at BGF.
Additional investors in the funding round include Foresight WAE Technology Funds, UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S), which is independently managed by Future Planet Capital, and Oxford Technology.
Machine Discovery is based on research conducted at the University of Oxford’s physics department.
It was co-founded by Muhammad Kasim and Brett Larder, who serve as CSO and CTO, respectively.
Machine Discovery’s other co-founders are Professor Gianluca Gregori and Professor Sam Vinko, who are supporting the company in an advisory capacity.
Bijan Kiani, CEO at Machine Discovery, said: “Machine Discovery is pioneering the use of machine learning to reduce product development cycles in a variety of sectors.
“We thank our partners for their continued support at a key stage of the company’s development, enabling us to expand the number of users utilising our Discovery Platform and drive forward the company’s future innovations.”
In May, the spinout announced that its platform is being used to support research for nuclear fusion power plants.
In addition to its Oxford headquarters, Machine Discovery has an office in Santa Clara, California.