AUC’S SPINOFF COMPANY SUITERA SECURES ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT, VALUATION REACHES $10 MILLION

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Yehea Ismail, professor and chair of the department of electronics and communications engineering at AUC and the director of the nanoelectronics and devices center at AUC and Zewail City

Cairo: Suitera, the second spinoff company by The American University in Cairo (AUC), has secured an additional investment to reach a valuation of $10 million.

A semiconductor startup, Suitera, received a new significant investment from Jacob Jacobsson, an experienced Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and semiconductor industry veteran. Jacobsson was the CEO of several companies with successful exits and chairman/member of the board of directors of multiple leading companies in electronics design and design automation including Xilinx, Actel, AMS AG, New Scale Technologies, Vidatronic, Helic, Safello, Runtime DA and RFMicron. Jacobsson also joined Suitera’s technical and business advisory boards. Suitera, which provides tools and solutions that help handle the complexity involved in the design of next-generation integrated circuits, such as 5G circuits, was founded in 2020 by Yehea Ismail, professor and chair of the department of electronics and communications engineering at AUC and the director of the nanoelectronics and devices center at AUC and Zewail City, as well as Magdy Abadir and Eby Friedman, who are veterans of the EDA industry.

Walden Rhines, a leading figure in the EDA space, was the first investor in Suitera and was followed by other prominent private investors.

“Suitera is on a path to transform next-generation electronics,” said Ismail, “Our core technologies are built to an unprecedented accuracy level in physical modeling as well as revolutionary optimization and speedup that can handle the massive complex circuits expected in the future.” With another leading figure joining and investing in Suitera, Ismail added: “additional investment allows us to continue enriching our products and providing more accurate predictions of complex circuit behavior, making Suitera stand out among other companies with similar technology.”

Suitera’s first product, MOReal is a tool developed in-house for model order reduction, allowing the generation of a small circuit model with the same characteristics of another very large circuit model. Such a small circuit model can replace the larger one, permitting faster analysis and simulation. MOReal surpasses any similar tool in the market by huge margins in its performance and the quality of its output. 

An alpha version of Suitera’s second product is imminent; it is a physical extractor that generates a full electromagnetic-based physical model for circuits with superior accuracy. The speed of the extraction tool is orders of magnitude higher than similar tools in the market, which gives the tool the capacity to handle complex circuits that existing tools cannot handle. In addition, the tool provides crucial features such as being seamless to connect to mainstream simulation tools, working with nonlinear devices and being so fast on repetitive simulations.

Suitera’s technology enables the industry to handle better the challenges that result from the trend towards more complex circuitry with building blocks as small as 5 nm and the trend towards higher frequencies in telecommunication reaching several tens of GHz with 5G. Suitera plans to deliver its service in the form of standalone and cloud-based products as well as solutions integrated into industry-standard tools.

“With continuous transformations and innovations in technology, the company’s services aim to accommodate for the spike in speed and data the world will witness in the coming years. Its technology is applicable not just in electronic systems, but in other domains such as automotive and avionics,” said Ismail.

Holder of many patents in the area of high-performance circuits, Ismail is one of the world’s leading scientists in certain specializations of electronics design optimization, and his work is some of the most highly cited in the VLSI area and is extensively used by industry. He was recently recognized as one of the top 2% most impactful scientists globally, being named in the Stanford-Elsevier’s Scopus database of the most cited scientists. The list is created by Stanford University experts based on Elsevier’s Scopus data. It includes the top 2% scientists in 22 scientific fields and 176 subfields. It provides standardized information on citations, h-index, co-authorship-adjusted hm-index, citations to papers in different authorship positions, and a composite indicator.

Ismail has also led research involving the use of biochips to revolutionize the way the medical field diagnoses cancer and other diseases by allowing for quicker and more effective treatment due to early and accurate diagnosis. Ismail, an IEEE fellow, was previously a tenured professor at Northwestern University and was the editor-in-chief of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transaction on Very Large Scale Integration (TVLSI). He is currently the chair of the steering committee of the same Journal. Over the years, Ismail has received several awards including the USA National Science Foundation Career Award, the IEEE CAS Outstanding Author Award, Best Teacher Award at Northwestern University, and many other best teaching awards and best paper awards. Ismail has published more than four hundred papers in top refereed journals and conferences and has co-authored seven books.