Israel-based start-up CADY, the developer of AI-based technology for PCB inspection, completed a $3M funding round. The current round is led by Teramips Technologies and Udi Peless, the founder and former CEO of Friendly Robotics, which developed robotic lawn mower s. Friendly Robotics acquired by the American MDT in 2017 for $45 million, and Peless currently holds the position of CADY’s Chairman of the Board. Teramips Technologies is managed by Pavel Radziviovsky and Vadim Zlotnik, former founders of Visionmap, which was awarded the Israel Defense Prize and later acquired by Rafael in 2013. Other participants in the current round are TAU Ventures – Tel-Aviv University’s Venture Capital, which also invested in CADY at earlier stages – as well as Today Ventures, Aristagora VC, Tal Ventures, Atooro, Amit Gilon, Rafi Gidron and additional private investors.
CADY was founded in 2020 by Gilad Shapira, CEO of the company, Tal Ben Porath, CTO, and Or Shabtai, Head of Research, who met during their joint service in the intelligence unit of the IDF. Including the current funding round, a total of $4M raised by the company since it was founded.
CADY operates in the emerging market of PCB (Printed Circuit Board) planning. As chips are being more and more complex, it’s been more complex to plan the electric circuits connecting the PCB’s components. As opposed to the chips’ planning area, where powerful verification and testing tools are highly available, the engineer planning the PCB is required to perform most of the tests manually or use colleagues. As a result, most of the electrical failures are coming to light only at the physical stage of the product, that is – at the prototype stage. When such failure is detected in the prototype, the engineer is forced to go back to the sketch table, locate the fault and re-send the modified design to reproduce the prototype. The process is a cumbersome, prolonged and costly process, adding the fact the PCB development processes require multiple prototypes production (re-spin) before mass production.
Gilad Shapira, CADY CEO says to Techtime that his company’s solution is designed to meet the lack of automatic PCB inspection tools. “At present, there and no comprehensive automatic tools to assist the engineer at the planning stage’s inspections, and those processes are have to be carried out manually. This is a highly time consuming process and usually, not all failures will be detected by the engineer. Studies showed that at every planning contains at least several errors, a fact that requires issuing a re-spinning process.
CADY’s solution makes it possible to perform this inspection early at the sketching stage. The company developed designated software for PCB planning automatic inspection, based on an AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology. Using machine learning algorithms, the software scans the technical specifications of chips and other components and “understands” the requirements and characteristics of each component, such as voltage requirements, temperature and connections. At the next phase, the software compares the insights against the sketch, in order to identify planning failures at the early planning stages, before producing the prototype. The platform provides a promptly feedback to the engineer”.
Shapira: “Current solutions available in the market are trying to base the inspection on electricity principles basics; these solutions are insufficient as they don’t take into account the varied requirements of each components and each manufacturer. Our advantage is not coming of unique expertise in electricity, rather it is the ability to convert technical specifications, usually written in natural language and saved as PDF, to formal language that makes it possible of running an automatic inspection of the circuit against the planning. Our main goal is to provide a solution that will reduce the number of re-spins to minimum or even to totally eliminate it”.
POCs with Intel and defense companies
According to the company, detecting failures at early stages improve and accelerate the planning phase, significantly save resources, shorten delivery schedule and increase quality and reliability of final product. Shapira: “Together with the chips market, the PCB market also experiences a dramatic increase in the planning and inspection complexity. Circuit made for vehicles, computers, phones and other devices becomes more dense and complex, embedded with more components, and thus harder to inspect. Now, more than ever, there is an imminent need for an automatic inspection tool, based on AI technology, to inspect electrical schemes.
CADY has conducted several successful pilots with multinational technology corporate business units and Israeli defense companies, in which it successfully detected errors at early stages of the design process. Furthermore, CADY was admitted to Intel’s startups program, Intel Ignite, batch #5 and already conducted fruitful pilots with three different Intel business units. The raised funds will allow the company to recruit additional employees and advance to a commercial phase with its clients, leaving the pilot stage behind.