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ELECTRICAL & COMPUTER ENGINEERING

Spotlight

UD start-up company leverages decades of research on parallel computing

ET International (ETI), a computer technology and software company founded by Guang Gao, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware, was recently awarded a $15 million contract from the Department of Defense to deploy the company's software for a variety of core technologies.

Based in Newark, Del., ETI specializes in developing and deploying system software solutions and tools for advanced computing architectures and platforms based on new multi-core chip technology. The company's technology can be optimized and adapted to a variety of domains, including finance, space exploration, and embedded systems such as hand-held devices.

The contract is just the latest chapter in ETI's success story. While the company has been in business for only 10 years, its intellectual property leverages decades of research on parallel computer architectures and software technology.

Last year, ETI was part of a team that was awarded $16 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a set of tools that can improve the performance of virtually any application running on a microprocessor.

“ETI is an excellent example of the impact that engineering research conducted at the University of Delaware can have in the commercial and government sectors,” says Michael Chajes, dean of the UD College of Engineering. “These two grants, one for research and one for technology deployment, demonstrate ETI's success in taking an idea from the laboratory to practical applications.”

According to David Weir, director of UD's Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships, ETI is the second start-up company in which the University has taken a small equity position. The other is PAIR Technologies LLC, which is preparing to commercialize a high-precision detector that can rapidly identify low levels of biological and chemical agents in solids, liquids, and gases.

“ETI's success supports the strategy of creating high-quality jobs in the state through the establishment of high-tech start-ups,” says Weir. “Based on national economic development data, each high-tech professional job supports at least three additional jobs in the local economy.”

ETI now employs more than 30 people, some from as far away as Europe, Asia, and the west coast of the United States. Since 2005, the company has been awarded more than $26 million in funding.

In 2007, ETI was one of only five companies selected to demonstrate its disruptive technology at Supercomputing 2007, the International Conference for High-Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis.

“As the world continues to move toward a knowledge-based economy,” says Gao, who serves as president of ETI, “it is crucial that the state of Delaware not only embrace the new economic model but also actively incubate the high-tech initiatives that have the greatest local economic impact.

“To this end, ETI is interested in applying high-performance computing technology to improve energy efficiency, financial security, and other aspects of the economy that have a direct impact on the well-being of humanity.”

More than a third of ETI's employees hold degrees from UD, and the company proactively recruits University graduates for employment and internships.

Article by Diane Kukich
Photo by Evan Krape


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