Grant Application for: Cross-disciplinary Semiconductor Research (CSR) - Novel Concepts


The Cross-disciplinary Semiconductor Research (CSR) area is soliciting grant applications in Novel Concepts.

The goal of this initiative is to foster exploratory, multi-disciplinary, high-risk university research leading to novel high-payoff solutions for the science and technology challenges faced by the semiconductor industry at and beyond the time horizons of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). Successful CSR projects will offer innovative and, hopefully, disruptive solutions to the challenge of enabling exponential gains in cost/performance benefits provided by the semiconductor industry for the foreseeable future, may lead to novel applications for this industry and may enhance the population of non-traditional researchers/out of box thinkers working with the SRC.

The role of this program is to stimulate non-traditional thinking about the issues facing the semiconductor industry. It is intended to seed new research and programs for the SRC and MARCO. Consistent with the incubator role of the initiative, these will be 1 year non-overhead bearing grants and the funding level is $40K. Awardees are encouraged to develop a proposal for follow-on funding of expanded programs by the SRC, MARCO or other agencies. Follow-on SRC and MARCO funding will depend on the availability of funds and strategic plan alignment.

Examples of Areas of Interest

Radical concepts on enabling technologies for and beyond the CMOS platform:

  • Novel device, logic, memory, interconnect-architectures, substrate engineering, and 3-D concepts that will sustain/ enhance the CMOS platform. New approaches for logic and memory technologies that potentially extend information processing orders of magnitude to new domains of performance defined by functional density, energy efficiency, scalability, etc. Novel concepts on technologies that use electrons in ways other than storing computational state, enabling digital and analog functionality beyond the limits of CMOS, non-electric-charge-based approaches including processing information with "spintronic" and "photonic" state variables, entirely new concepts for extending information processing attainable with ultimate silicon CMOS, etc.
  • Design methodology, synthesis, characterization and computation of novel functional/nano materials for the emerging research devices and technologies for the semiconductor industry; e.g., knowledgebase for terascale complex materials, means to form atomically (electronically) smooth interfaces, etc.
  • Alternate to patterning technologies for nano manufacturing; e.g., design directed patterning, novel 3-D patterning concepts that enable complex graded composites, functional nano-structures, etc.
  • Directed/self-assembly to enable emerging material, device and system architectures and emerging research devices for the CMOS platform and beyond; e.g., molecular level process control, field/Si-DNA assisted assembly of desired functional structures, bio-mimetic concepts, theory and predictive modeling of directed/self-assembly, etc.
  • Enabling technologies for novel interconnect/switch architectures; e.g., alternates to on-chip metal-dielectric interconnect technologies beyond copper/low K, etc.
  • High performance circuit/system architectures that enable manufacturing of CMOS in the nano domain and exploit the emerging research devices and nanoscale technologies; e.g., design for statistical variability, fault tolerant, design for novel patterning, etc.
  • Novel concepts on component technologies, which can be integrated with silicon platforms for high performance systems and heterogeneous integration; e.g., organic electronics, optoelectronics, NEMs, radical approaches to circumvent IC packaging cost, etc.
  • Ideas to enhance design productivity for trillion + component systems; e.g., probabilistic design methodologies, algorithm scaling for design, etc.
  • Extremely low power integrated circuit systems; e.g., microwatt systems
  • Management and removal of heat from integrated circuits
  • Automatic generation, verification, configuration, and self-adaptation of embedded real-time software. New algorithms, logic, coding, and architectures that exploit enhanced parallelism rather than raw speed, etc.
  • Radical departures from the integrated circuit paradigm for information processing; e.g., quantum computing technologies and spin off technologies from quantum computing research (e.g., single atom electronics), bio-inspired computing, DNA computing, etc.
  • Basic concepts on multi-scale, multi-phenomena modeling and simulation at and beyond the limits of CMOS; e.g., interface roughness in nano wires and nano devices, new methodologies as technologies expand from traditional CMOS transistors and wires to elements with other physical, electrical, chemical and biological phenomena, etc.

Radical concepts on enabling technologies for emerging application of the semiconductor industry:

  • Digital/Real World Interfaces; e.g., human/semiconductor interface, devices for energy scavenging from the environment, semiconductor and quantum technologies for security/encryption for mobile applications, ambient intelligence, machines that can conceptualize from data, holographic meetings, etc.
  • Enabling technologies for ambient intelligence and anthropomorphic machines; e.g., organic electronics, E-Textiles, sensing systems, continuous speech semantic analysis (e.g., understanding, and situation awareness), cognitive processing, etc.
  • Bio-Electronics Interfaces; e.g., basic concepts on ionic-electronic interfaces, ion channels in cell-semiconductor junction, neuro-electronic interfaces, molecular recognition, basic concepts on sensing systems and architectures for the bio-electronics interfaces, etc.

Preference will be given to projects that require multi-disciplinary approach/teams.

Grant Application Guidelines

Responses are limited to 3 pages (using at least a 10 pt. font) and should describe the planned research approach and possible research outcomes for the semiconductor industry. Grant Applications must be submitted via the SRC Web site. Non-compliance with these guidelines will exclude grant applications from consideration.

Please include the following identifying information in your grant application:

  • Project title
  • Investigator(s)
  • University
  • Principal Author telephone number, mailing address, and e-mail address

Please make sure to address the following in your grant application:

  • Approximately 100 word executive summary
  • Problem to be addressed: Explain the rationale for the project in terms of the semiconductor industry needs.
  • Objective: What do you plan to do?
  • Novelty: The basic concept and discuss the role of cross-disciplinary research in providing a unique solution to the problem addressed
  • Approach: Strategy for addressing the problem
  • Research output: Identify possible research products of a successful research program
  • IP: identify any preexisting intellectual property

Timetable and Deadlines

Grant Application Timetable
Event Deadline
Announcement of Request for Grant Applications August 4, 2004
Deadline to Submit Grant Applications September 3, 2004
Notification of Final Program Selection Results November 15, 2004
Program/Funding Start December 1, 2004

Please direct all technical questions to Dr. Victor Zhirnov, Program Manager, Cross-disciplinary Semiconductor Research (CSR) (
All other questions and responses should be directed to Ms. Leslie Faiers, (, 919-941-9455).

4819 Emperor Blvd, Suite 300 Durham, NC 27703 Voice: (919) 941-9400 Fax: (919) 941-9450

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