Secure and reliable graphics drivers

6 August 2018

GraphicsFuzz is acquired by Google

We are excited to announce that GraphicsFuzz Ltd. has been acquired by Google, and that the GraphicsFuzz team – Alastair Donaldson, Hugues Evrard and Paul Thomson – will be joining Google’s Android Graphics Team to integrate their specialist graphics driver testing technology within the Android ecosystem.

GraphicsFuzz has pioneered the combination of fuzzing and metamorphic testing to yield a highly automatic method for testing graphics drivers that quickly finds and fixes bugs that could undermine reliability and security before they affect end users. As reported in a series of blog posts on Medium, the approach has been successful at exposing a large number of graphics driver defects across a wide range of mobile and desktop platforms.

The GraphicsFuzz technology was developed by Alastair, Hugues, Paul and Andrei Lascu from the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, with funding support from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the TETRACOM EU project. The team entered and reached the finals in the first edition of Programm/able, a combined business and software competition co-organised by Imperial Innovations, the College’s technology commercialisation partner, and Imperial Enterprise Lab.

The inventors continued to work with Imperial Innovations after the competition to set up the company, and GraphicsFuzz was one of the first companies to found a startup through the College's Founders Choice™ Programme, which offers academics the option to keep a much greater share of founding equity – up to 95% – in exchange for a more basic level of support.

The team was also supported by the Imperial Venture Mentoring Service, the ICURe Programme, and the Cybersecurity Academic Startups Programme funded by Innovate UK and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Alastair Donaldson, Director of GraphicsFuzz, said: "The acquisition by Google is a fantastic opportunity to maximise the worldwide impact of our graphics driver testing technology."

Lamia Baker, Senior Licensing Executive at Imperial Innovations, said: "The technology developed by GraphicsFuzz helps graphics technology vendors to build more reliable products, which is in high demand in today's technology-driven world. This acquisition is an endorsement of the company's progress, as well as a unique opportunity for GraphicsFuzz to have a positive impact in one of the world's leading mobile operating systems."

Simon Hepworth, Director of Enterprise at Imperial College London, said: "At Imperial, we encourage innovation at all levels. We have a unique entrepreneurial ecosystem, where our world-leading academics and students are encouraged to act boldly, pursue new opportunities, and translate their work into real-world impact. GraphicsFuzz embodies this culture, and we commend them on their tremendous success."