SRC, Texas Instruments and the State of Texas Launch World-Class Nanoelectronics Research Initiative

Over $30M to Fund Alternatives to Silicon Semiconductors at Universities in Texas, Arizona, Indiana and Maryland

Sep 27, 2006

Unprecedented Level of State's Collaborative Resources Applied to Shaping Future of Electronics

DALLAS - Designed to benefit the long-term needs of the semiconductor industry and the national economy, Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) today joined with Texas Instruments (TI) and the State of Texas in announcing the launch of the South West Academy for Nanoelectronics (SWAN). With more than $30 million of funding spread across three years, seven universities will collaborate as one research center to develop and exploit a new class of semiconductor materials and devices - nanoelectronics -- that stretches beyond today's state-of-art chip technologies. The ramifications of the research are expected to change the nature of future electronics.

Billions of times every day - at the turn of a key, flip of a switch, or push of a button - chips seamlessly control the complex electronics which help drive the world's economies. Benefits of the SWAN research will serve chipmakers and end-users of communications, computing, medical, environmental, transportation and consumer devices, in addition to a wide range of other applications that currently are dependent on silicon's performance.

"The challenge for nanoelectronics is to ensure that society's expectations for electronic applications can continue to be met," said Larry Sumney, CEO and president, SRC. "Thanks to efforts like those of TI and the State of Texas, these universities will work with industry on initial research needed to enable future breakthroughs in nanoelectronics. This progress is crucial to both our nation's and the world's continued economic growth."

The results from this initiative will enable the semiconductor industry to extend Moore's Law - the 40-year-old prediction that the industry can double the number 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 reached.

The research will focus on development of ferromagnetic resonant tunneling transistors and phase manipulation of electron wavefunctions in electron-waveguide device structures. By creating a multi-university center, SWAN will optimize the outcome by concentrating research efforts and avoiding fragmentation of resources.

SWAN research will be led by UT-Austin and comprised of a collective team from UT-Arlington, UT-Dallas, Texas A&M, Rice, Notre Dame, Arizona State and the University of Maryland. Through collaborative efforts such as SWAN, the SRC's subsidiary Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) is designed to establish the U.S. as the world leader in the nanoelectronics revolution.

SWAN is the third of three new university-based nanoelectronics research centers managed by SRC-NRI. The others are the Western Institute of Nanoelectronics (WIN) in California and the Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery and Exploration (INDEX) in New York. Strong interactions between these centers and their activities will be instrumental in SRC-NRI reaching its 15-year goal of demonstrating novel computing devices with critical dimensions below 10 nanometers and incorporating them in simple computer circuits.

SRC-NRI is leading the U.S. in developing the next information element, beyond the current state-of-art transistor. NRI collaborates with national nanotechnology efforts to produce fundamental breakthroughs in physical sciences and engineering. Structure and execution of the initiative are designed to move research results more successfully and smoothly from the laboratory into cost-effective production, where most other nanotechnology research falls short.

Funds from TI, the State of Texas, NRI and the universities will be directed through SRC-NRI during the initial three-year program. Additional opportunities for expanded exploration are anticipated among the participants beyond the basic research phase.

About SRC

As the world's leading university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, SRC defines industry needs, invests in and manages the research that gives its members a competitive advantage in the dynamic global marketplace. SRC expands the industry knowledge base and attracts premier students to help innovate and transfer semiconductor technology to the commercial industry. Established in 1982, SRC is based in Research Triangle Park, NC, and drives long-term semiconductor research contracts on behalf of its participating members: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Applied Materials, Inc., Axcelis Technologies, Inc., Cadence Design Systems, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Intel Corp., LSI Logic Corp., Mentor Graphics Corp., The Mitre Corp., Novellus Systems, Inc., Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials and Texas Instruments Corp. SRC also seeks to leverage funding from global government agencies.

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