EMC Gems rewrites the rules of simulation
The Friuli-based startup, born a year ago out of the University of Udine and an expert in electromagnetic simulation, offers client companies vertical and tailored solutions distinguished by ease of use and extremely competitive simulation times
By Massimiliano Luce
The demand for simulation tools by companies has been steadily growing for several years. A trend that, in March 2021, led to the emergence of EMC Gems, an innovative startup from the University of Udine, in the role of technology provider. Leading it is CEO Ruben Specogna, who has always been involved in electromagnetic simulation research activities. "Faced with new simulation challenges, over time companies became more and more demanding and began to evaluate next-generation solutions," Specogna says. In this respect, EMC Gems was also born to fill some gaps that had surfaced in the market at the know-how level. "Covering more mathematical domains, knowledge related to simulation techniques, over time, was not cultivated with the same intensity as topics that, today, pay off more like graphene, artificial intelligence, fuel cells, hydrogen and medicine.
"As a result, in fact even before EMC Gems was established, prominent companies such as Google began to get in touch with the University of Udine, requesting some consultancy. In this regard, another weighty name that has been interested before others in exploring the new paths of simulation is Renesas, which signed a specific collaboration agreement with the University of Udine. "Thanks to the positive results achieved with Google and Renesas, but also together with other smaller realities, we decided to open ourselves up more and more to the market, while at the same time attempting to enlarge ourselves through the foundation of the university startup EMC Gems, specifically dedicated to the topic of simulation for electromagnetic devices," Specogna continues. Accomplice in some respects to the covid-19-related pandemic, a further boost came from the ability to develop a number of very innovative simulation techniques, moreover now covered by patents. "The decisive feature, which distinguishes them, lies in the ability to achieve a speed-up factor of hundreds, if not thousands of times, compared to the solutions currently in use," Specogna points out. "Achieving these results, corroborated moreover by the publication of a scientific article, approved by international reviewers, in the reference journal of the simulation industry, convinced us to strengthen our commitment even more. Our strong point, therefore, is the very driven research in basic mathematics, which allows us to conquer an extreme speed, considerably higher than normal simulators."
From research to the field
Vertical solutions for large and small companies
Building on the favorable and positive feedback gathered in a relatively short period of time, EMC Gems' plans for the future are therefore reasonably ambitious. "Based on the needs of each individual customer, we implement a vertical tool for their specific product. In any case, given the centrality of the computing tool, 90 percent of the work is already done. What changes from time to time, depending on the application, is the interface part," Specogna specifies. EMC Gems' close relationship with the University of Udine, which finds precisely in Specogna the connecting element, as the startup CEO also operates within the Friulian university, naturally holds special importance. "In the university we study precisely the basic mathematical aspects, with the aim of publishing the results in the best scientific journals in the field. Then, through the startup, we deal with technology transfer, implementing these techniques in an optimized way in order to make them usable by companies," Specogna adds. "Overall, our ultimate goal is not to conduct pure mathematical research, but to apply it to simulation as efficiently as possible." Not for nothing, EMC Gems is based in the Lab Village of the University of Udine, a university laboratory that also hosts and welcomes outside private companies as a meeting point and synergy. In addition, for customers grappling with the implementation of a device, having fast simulations such as those provided by EMC Gems' technology allows them to conduct a considerable number of them in extremely competitive timeframes. "This actually allows the entire design space to be fully explored, even in the case of so many variables to be evaluated, in order to improve the final product and gain competitiveness against what the competition is offering," Specogna points out. EMC Gems' goal now is to have the top 15 international companies in the microelectronics industry as customers. "In this way, the favor garnered among multinationals will become the best business card to win the attention and trust of even smaller companies," Specogna argues. In this regard, among the key factors in reaching the largest number of users, Specogna points to ease of use. "Our software is different from other tools on the market, which tend to be very general and flexible to solve any kind of problem, but, for that very reason, not exactly easy to configure."From this point of view, EMC Gems' strategic choice is to focus on vertical solutions in order to optimize the software to the particular application from time to time. "This is an advantage both for us, by virtue of the simplicity of the graphical interface, and for the customer, who can use the variables proper to his interest," concludes Specogna, reiterating the winning customization of EMC Gems' offerings.