A Cambridge tech firm is looking to set up an office in Bristol after a £5m funding round

UltraSoC develops technology to embed in complex system-on-chip designs to monitor performance and find any problems.

“We are recruiting more engineers in Cambridge and a new office and investing in growing the business side organically,” said Rupert Baines, chief executive of UltraSoC. “The new office is most likely going to be in Bristol there’s a lot of very good engineers there so that’s most likely. If you look at Stan Boland, having Cambridge and Bristol has worked well for him.”

Stan Boland founded Element14 with engineers in Bristol and Cambridge that later sold to Broadcom, and set up Icera Semiconductor in Bristol which was sold to NVIDIA. His current venture Five.ai is developing software for driverless cars and again has engineers in both Bristol and Cambridge.

UltraSoC had already tapped expertise from Bristol and Bath as Baines and CTO Gadge Panesar both live in Bath where they worked at picoChip before it was bought by Intel. Picochip’s former CEO Guillaume D’Eyssautier was also a ‘superangel’ investor in this round of funding.

“Having Guillaume as an investor is a real testimonial,” said Baines. “He knows just about everyone in the industry and knows how hard the problem is to tackle.”

The new office also helps with a key technology deal the company has with Moortec in Plymouth. It uses Moortec’s analogue sensor designs to embed into chips to monitor physical voltage and temperature. “We bring their sensors into a smart digital domain so you can do a lot of system level analysis,” said Baines. “For example for resilience and lifetime reliability, we can do load balancing on multicore processors over weeks and months to spread the electromigration so that one processor core doesn’t wear out quicker than others – if you are doing automotive applications that’s essential.”

Bristol is a key centre in the UK for chip design, with Huawei and Imagination Technologies having multicore design centres and Broadcom and Infineon both developing complex embedded software for system-on-chip devices

There are more details on the company available at www.ultrasoc.com.

Nick Flaherty