TORONTO, June 22 -- The first of four specialized test labs in Canada's $23-million National Microelectronics and Photonics Testing Collaboratory opened this week at the University of Toronto (U of T) Bahen Centre for Information Technology.
The U of T Advanced Digital Lab, with an estimated value of more than $8 million, is an effort involving CMC Microsystems, U of T and industry, government and academic leaders. The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art digital equipment from Agilent Technology Canada Inc. and Credence IMS that enables researchers to test and validate high-performance System-on-Chip (SOC) designs at the levels of speed and complexity that advanced silicon technology now makes possible. SOC technology is embedded in many products, including cell phones, medical equipment,water-quality monitoring systems, automotive safety systems and in cardiac pacemakers.
Researchers at 21 Canadian universities will use the virtual laboratory and its interactive, multimedia connections to access some of the best available test tools and technologies in the world. Managed by CMC, this pan-Canadian initiative will work toward giving companies a competitive edge in the multibillion dollar microsystems and photonics sectors.
Together, the four test labs will address one of the main roadblocks facing university researchers: limited access to sophisticated and costly equipment required to test and validate high-performance microsystems, which the groups say is a requirement for moving new, multidisciplinary discoveries more quickly into the market.
CMC Microsystems is a non-profit corporation funded by Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, with matching contributions from industry in the form of technology, services and cash. Its membership includes 42 universities, one college and 30 industrial organizations.
Brian Barge, CMC's president and CEO, said, "Regardless of physical location, researchers will have access to the same advanced capabilities to validate concepts faster, thereby increasing their R&D output and narrowing the gap between technology development and market deployment. Microsystems technologies enable products and services in all sectors from health care to aerospace, energy, automotive, environment, and information and communications."
The National Microelectronics and Photonics Testing Collaboratory received major funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Innovation Trust, the Government of Quebec and the Manitoba Research and Innovations Fund. The three other labs involved plan to open later this year.
For more information, visit: www.cmc.ca