Software start-up Corensic sees a big future

The 2008 economic downturn didn’t stop two UW Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) faculty members from launching a software start-up. And it didn’t discourage Madrona Venture Group and WRF Capital from investing $1.5 million in Corensic. The founders, investors, and the UW Center for Commercialization believe the fledgling company has great promise because its products will ensure that complex programs work more reliably.

Professor Mark Oskin is on temporary leave from the UW to devote his time to building Corensic as its CEO. Co-founder Luis Ceze, a CSE Assistant Professor, is advising the company as it develops its technology. Both are experts in computer architecture and parallel computing.

Today’s multi-core “multi-threaded” computers and mobile devices have more than one CPU, which divide software processes into multiple pieces and interact to increase operational speed. That increases the challenges for software developers who can no longer write step-by-step, sequential code, but must consider how the multiple cores communicate and divide up information for processing.

“It’s so complex that the human brain is the limiting factor,” Ceze said. “We can’t risk coding errors and bugs that could bring down a bank system or a search engine.”

Their software innovation makes a multi-core processor behave more like a sequential machine and permits development of cheaper, simpler, more reliable software. The first product now on the market, Jinx, helps programmers find elusive coding errors.

“The UW Center for Commercialization helped us navigate the start-up process, from licensing to garnering approval of outside work engagements,” Ceze said. “They helped expedite the process for us.” The potential market for Corensic’s future products is growing, and its founders are working to turn Corensic into a top multi-core software development company.