Celus, which uses AI to automate circuit board design, raises $25.6M – TechCrunch

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Celus, which uses AI to automate circuit board design, raises .6M – TechCrunch

Almost every electronic device you are thinking of contains at least one printed circuit board (PCB). This helps to accommodate and connect the various components that function as a device as a whole. Circuit boards are barely visible to end users, but they power smartphones, cars, microwave ovens, garage doors, and the entire connected world and are the foundation of the world in which they live.

Therefore, the global PCB market is a large company and is expected to grow from $ 60 billion in 2020 to $ 75 billion by 2027. And it’s this sector that Germany-based Celus wants to take advantage of, with an automated platform that spans the entire circuit board design. The process from conception to PCB.

To accelerate its mission of “automating electrical device design,” Celus announced today that it has raised € 25 million ($ 25.6 million) in Series A funding.

So what exactly is the scale of the problem Celus is trying to solve?

Lack of components

To design a PCB from scratch, engineers come up with initial schematic concepts based on the components needed to power the final product, such as transistors, resistors, capacitors, fuses, sensors, batteries, and diodes. is needed. And all the rest. The problem is that you have the potential to choose from millions of different components of different sizes and specifications from thousands of manufacturers. Therefore, choosing the right components for your job at the right price and availability can be done in multiple areas from across the company, perusing thousands of datasheets and working together to identify the right components. It can be an incredibly labor-intensive manual process, including.

Only then will the engineer draw the actual schematic, put together all the components, and finally reach the final PCB. But if you think it’s the end of the process, you may be wrong. Companies often have to redesign their circuit boards when it becomes difficult to procure certain components (such as chips). This is a particularly common problem in the post-pandemic supply chain, where engineers may have to design and return closer to the square.

“It’s theoretically possible to replace an unavailable component with a similar component, but this results in a time-consuming and costly redesign of electronics and PCBs,” said Tobias Pohl, CEO and co-founder of Celus, on TechCrunch. Told to. “With the Celus automation platform, such a redesign process can be done in minutes.”

Celus has built a platform to provide engineers with component data from electronics manufacturers while adding their own special automation sources to the mix. In fact, Celus automates many manual processes related to circuit board design, such as the generation of schematics (conceptual diagrams of how components are connected), and shows where to place each component on the circuit board. Create a “plan”.

“Our design canvas provides a drafting board to capture the product concept, from which the schematics are automatically generated,” Paul explained. “Components are selected based on what best suits your requirements, and automation also generates an initial PCB. This saves engineers a lot of time, which means experimenting, experimenting, and creativity. You can demonstrate it. “

So with Celus, users simply explain their requirements and they are automatically matched against the component’s library to find the best solution. And that’s where Celus strives to differentiate itself from other AI-powered PCB players. Prioritize component selection and circuit design design, making everything available in a user-friendly GUI.

Celus in operation

AI is used not only in the design of new circuit boards, but also in the process of extracting information from existing unstructured data sources. For example, if an engineer uploads a schematic or PCB layout to Celus, the algorithm interprets the information in these files to make predictions.

“In the past, humans had to consume and interpret many of the files used to design circuit boards, but AI can truly digitize that type of data and interpret it by machine learning.” Paul added.

Celus can also be used as a stand-alone system or integrated into an existing IT environment to integrate the underlying AI smart with industry-standard electronic design automation (EDA) tools.

time

All of this will ultimately save you valuable time. This is a valuable product in a world where it seems that there are not enough skilled engineers. And as global events such as pandemics and wars exacerbate this problem, Celus benefits by promising that time-hungry circuit board engineers can redesign their products at the push of a button. You can get it.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented shortage of components in the industry. Component staleness and supply chain issues have always been a concern, but the size of the current issue is that of electronic devices. It means that the manufacturer cannot “stop it”. We were forced to redesign our products to keep our business going, “Paul continued. “Our automation addresses that redesign challenge in minutes and makes product redesign a viable option.”

Founded in 2018 from Munich, Celus has raised only about € 5.4 million in seed funding in its four-year history. However, during that period it has attracted a significant number of well-known clients, including € 3.4 billion German heating and cooling system manufacturers Siemens and Viessmann.

The Celas series round is led by Earlybird Venture Capital, including DI Capital, Speed ​​Invest, Plug and Play, and Paul Gogenora, former CEO of Rolls-Royce and Vice President of Hardware Development at Google’s Nest. Angel investors participated. Paul said he plans to open a new office in the United States to “position the center of the electronics industry” with a new cash injection.

“We want to reach out to all electrical device designers around the world so they can spend more time on innovation and creativity, but our software is the boring and time-consuming they used to deal with. It will reduce that work, “he said.

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