London-based Flexciton secures about €17.8 million to boost the capability of the global semiconductor industry

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Flexciton, an optimisation technology company that has developed a unique solution to radically improve the efficiency and productivity of semiconductor manufacturing processes, has secured a €17.8 million in additional funding. The Series A round was led by Nadav Rosenberg (Saras Capital).

Flexicon was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in London. The startup’s solution analyses the real-time data that each manufacturing plant generates and applies cutting edge technology to decide which actions need to be taken to optimise production.

Modern semiconductor manufacturing plants are the most complex manufacturing environments in the world, with the production process generating more scheduling options than there are atoms in the universe. A next-generation chip wafer might go through between 500-2,000 machine steps in a dynamic process. The end-to-end process of making a single chip could take from six months to a year to complete.

Jamie Potter, co-founder and CEO of Flexciton, stated: “Automation is already used by many semiconductor manufacturers. However, even in advanced fabs where scheduling itself is automated, the software used to make these decisions tends to be based on predefined rules programmed by humans and determined by historical data. Yes, it can calculate different options far quicker than a human operator could, but the options are still ‘best guesses’ rather than optimal outcomes.”

He continued: “Flexciton is able to create an overview of how the entire fab is operating and rapidly sift through the trillions of options available, to come up with the optimal decision at that precise point in time. Using AI-powered mathematical algorithms and Mixed Integer Linear Programming, we can analyse real-time data – not historical – and make the best choices possible based on what is happening in a fab at a given moment. Our vision is to become the best in the world at running semiconductor fabs, before turning our attention to support other manufacturers. This investment plays a key part in achieving this, as we expand our team.”

Flexciton has been proven to achieve efficiency gains of 10%. To a manufacturing plant (fab) using 1,000 machines, this can save a factory tens of millions per year. There are currently over 1,000,000 machines worldwide waiting to be optimised – a number that continues to grow due to the worldwide demand for semiconductors.

Nadav Rosenberg, an investor who has supported the team since their early days and led the current Series A round, stated: “Semiconductors are the fundamental building blocks of modern life. More than any other development of the scientific age, they have completely revolutionised the way that we work, play, communicate and learn. Demand will keep growing, and the industry must consider how to better utilise its current assets, before expanding and using further resources to meet demand. Efficiency is key. Flexciton is the first company to successfully apply this level of machine intelligence to real-world manufacturing, with hugely impressive results.”

Flexciton was founded by Jamie Potter and Dennis Xenos who have worked in the optimised manufacturing field for more than ten years, with a focus on how advanced mathematics can solve manufacturing scheduling issues. They quickly realised that it was impossible for humans to understand the trillions of options that manufacturing processes generated and that it was only through the application of mathematics that the unpredictability of such complex systems could be understood.

The team has since grown to 41, combining the disciplines of mathematics, semiconductor scheduling, AI, optimisation, data science and software development.

Since its inception, Flexciton has received over €24.9 million in funding. The fresh capital from the Series A round will be used for further expansion and for hiring across the team.