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Semiconductor Consortium Funds Nanoelectronics Research Centers, Grants

Photonics.com
Dec 2005
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Dec. 8 -- Seeking to accelerate nanoelectronics research at US universities to benefit the long-term needs of the semiconductor industry, a consortium of companies known as the Nanoelectronics Research Corp. (NERC) today announced its first research grants under the Semiconductor Industry Association's (SIA) new Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI).

These grants will fund the creation of two new university-based nanoelectronics research centers, one in California and the other in New York, as well as support additional research at five National Science Foundation (NSF) nanoscience centers and at a research group in Texas. The announcement was made today at NSF headquarters in Arlington, Va., during the Silicon Nanoelectronics and Beyond conference cosponsored by the NSF and the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC), the university research arm of the SIA.

One of the new research centers will be The Western Institute of Nanoelectronics (WIN) in California. Headquartered at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, WIN participants will come from three University of California (UC) campuses (Los Angeles, Berkeley and Santa Barbara) and Stanford University. WIN will focus on novel spintronics and plasmonic devices. In addition to its NRI funding, this center will also receive additional support from Intel and the UC Discovery program.

The new East Coast research center will be The Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery and Exploration (INDEX) in Albany, N.Y. Headquartered at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the State University of New York-Albany (SUNY-Albany) it will also include the Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Yale University. INDEX will focus on the development of nanomaterial systems, atomic-scale fabrication technologies, predictive modeling protocols for devices, subsystems and systems; power dissipation management designs and realistic architectural integration schemes for realizing novel magnetic and molecular quantum devices. INDEX will also receive additional funding from IBM, and support from New York State is expected, according to a written statement the consortium released today.

NERC, an SRC subsidiary, and NSF also announced today a total of $2 million in supplemental grants for nanoelectronics research during FY 2006 at five existing NSF nanoscience centers: the Network for Computational Nanotechnology at Purdue University, the Center for Nanoscopic Materials at the University of Virginia, the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara; the Center for Electronic Transport in Molecular Nanostructures at Columbia University and the Center for Nanoscale Systems and their Device Applications at Harvard University.

In addition, NERC announced an individual grant to the research team led by Professor Banerjee at the University of Texas at Austin for exploratory work in spintronics, and NSF announced an additional supplemental grant for nanoelectronics research to the Center for Semiconductor Physics in Nanostructures at the University of Oklahoma/University of Arkansas.

The semiconductor companies participating in the research initiative (Advanced Micro Devices, Freescale Semiconductor, International Business Machines Corp., Intel Corp., Micron Technology and Texas Instruments) will assign researchers to collaborate with the university teams. The participating companies say that strong interactions between these centers and their activities will be instrumental in NRI reaching its 15-year goal of demonstrating novel computing devices with critical dimensions below 10 nm and incorporating them in simple computer circuits.

SRC President and CEO Larry Sumney said, "The research results from this new initiative will enable the semiconductor industry to extend Moore's Law -- the 40-year-old prediction that the industry can double the amount of transistors it places on a computer chip every couple of years -- far beyond the year 2020 when the potential limits of the current industry technology may be approached."

For more information, visit: www.src.org/nri



GLOSSARY
nanotechnology
The use of atoms, molecules and molecular-scale structures to enhance existing technology and develop new materials and devices. The goal of this technology is to manipulate atomic and molecular particles to create devices that are thousands of times smaller and faster than those of the current microtechnologies.
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