Interview: Alexandru Plesco, CEO/CTO XtremLogic and NETVA 2015 laureate

Alexandru Plesco

Alexandru Plesco

XtremeLogic, co-founded by Inria researchers Christophe Alias, and Alexandru Plesco, is a new start-up offering next generation green high-performance computing on FPGAs with up to 100 times better performance/watt ratio than existing solutions. In 2015 the start-up was selected in the framework of the NETVA program.

Alexandru Plesco, who was the Startup Project Manager and is now XtremeLogic CEO/CTO, tells us about his work.


  • Alexandru, can you tell us about your Research and Innovation field?

At XtremLogic we are working to solve one of the most important problems in the computer industry – the power consumption. The exponential growth of cloud data fueled by the IoT (Internet of Things) will put a major strain on the global electrical grid as the internet may consume as much as a third of global power generation by 2020. Our products will enable our customers to obtain up to 100 times better performance without any change in the data center infrastructure.

At XtremLogic we have developed a disruptive compiler / high-level synthesis framework based on more than 20 years of research done at Inria  and ENS Lyon. Our fully automatic design automation tool suite is capable of transforming an algorithm into a dedicated computing architecture mapped onto modern low power massively parallel FPGA circuits from Intel and Xilinx.

  • You did your PhD within the Inria COMPSYS team, could you tell us more about your PhD contribution?

The idea of our current technology started during my PhD thesis with the Inria COMPSYS team. Together with my thesis directors Christophe ALIAS, Tanguy RISSET, Alain DARTE, I started working on the efficient mapping of algorithms onto FPGA circuits. We were able to achieve very promising results on a few research prototypes.

  • Following your PhD, you decided to create the XTremLogic start-up, with the support of Inria; could you tell us more about the technology you have transferred and the XTremLogic solutions?

Following my PhD, I decided to create the XtremLogic startup together with Christophe ALIAS (formerly known as the Zettice project). The incubation period was financed mainly by Inria, ENS-Lyon and Région Rhône-Alpes and many other players like Crealys, BPI etc. at the end of which we obtained an exclusive license of the technology.

  • The Startup XtremLogic has been very successful and got many awards, this includes being one of the awardee of the NETVA’2015 competition that allowed you to have a first experience in the SiliconValley, can you tell us what you learned from this experience and the impact on the development of XTremLogic?

During the incubation period and afterwards, our startup was laureate of many industry and government contests; however, none of them had the impact as great as NETVA’2015. The NETVA’2015 program provided us with the key to the door that opens to us the USA market. We were able to meet many key players of the Silicon Valey startup environment, including but not only lawyers, marketing, business development, investors, prospects etc. The whole program was very well organized that made the immersion week, one of the most productive weeks we ever had. The NETVA program also facilitated the opening of many doors here in France.

  • What are your plans now?

Our plan right now is very simple: to deliver what we promised. We are working hard on accelerating the algorithms that our worldwide prospects demanded. We are in the VC search phase that is required to fuel our rapid growth.

  • NETVA 2016 edition is now open! What advice would you give to prospective applicants of NETVA?

My advice to prospective applicants is to get most of the NETVA program, as one full day of work during NETVA program may help you advance by a few months in your project.

Interview by Valerie Issarny, Inria@SiliconValley scientific coordinator

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