Semiconductor Industry Announces New Nanoelectronic Research Grants to U.S. Universities

Two new research centers created; grants made to six National Science Foundation nanoscience centers and a Texas research group

Dec 8, 2005

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. - Seeking to accelerate nanoeletronics research at U.S. universities to benefit the long term needs of the semiconductor industry, a consortium of companies has 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 centered 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 the NSF Headquarters in Arlington, Va., during the "Silicon Nanoelectronics and Beyond" conference cosponsored by the NSF and the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC).

The two new research centers are:

  • 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 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 direct support from Intel and the UC Discovery program.
  • The Institute for Nanolectronics 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 include also 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 direct funding from IBM, and support from New York State is expected.

The industry consortium (an SRC subsidiary known as the Nanoelectronics Research Corp. (NERC)) and NSF also announced today a total of $2 million in supplemental grants for nanoelectronics research during Fiscal Year 2006 at five existing NSF nanoscience centers:

  • Network for Computational Nanotechnology at Purdue University,
  • Center for Nanoscopic Materials at the University of Virginia,
  • Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara,
  • Center for Electronic Transport in Molecular Nanostructures at Columbia University, and
  • 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 companies participating in NRI (Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.; Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.; International Business Machines Corp.; Intel Corp.; Micron Technology, Inc.; and Texas Instruments, Inc.) will assign researchers to collaborate with the university teams. 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 nanometers and incorporating them in simple computer circuits.

Larry Sumney, President and CEO of SRC 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."

Lawrence Goldberg, Senior Engineering Advisor at NSF said, "The supplemental grants will support additional graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Centers' research programs, thus leveraging NSF's significant fundamental research investments in nanoelectronics. We believe this type of cooperative effort with NRI can have a large impact in accelerating advancement of new concepts and in developing future cadres of industry and faculty researchers to help drive the field."

About the SIA: The SIA is the leading voice for the semiconductor industry and has represented U.S. semiconductor companies since 1977. Collectively, the chip industry employs a domestic workforce of 225,000 people. More information about the SIA can be found at

About the SRC: Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., operates globally to provide competitive advantage to its member companies as the world's premier university research management consortium delivering relevantly educated technical talent and early research results. Learn more at the SRC website.

About the NRI: In August 2005, a consortium of six Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) member companies chartered an SRC subsidiary, the Nanoelectronics Research Corp., to develop and administer a university-based research program to explore new areas in nanoscale electronics that are emerging as the ultimate limits to the scaling of today's dominant microelectronic technology (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS)) are being approached. The goal of this research program -- the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative -- is to demonstrate novel computing devices with critical dimensions below 10 nanometers and to incorporate them into simple computer circuits that could enable the industry to extend Moore's Law improvements in electronics far beyond the limits of CMOS. More information about NRI is available at /nri.

About the NSF: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Visit the NSF web site at

NSF Center web sites, for reference:

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