Record Federal Commitment For U.S. Universities' Semiconductor Research Lauded By SRC

Funding of $20M for 2009 Aims to Reinvigorate America's Vital Chip Progress, Reverses Trend of Reduced Research Monies Since 1970

Feb 8, 2008

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. - Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the world's leading university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, today commended just-released plans for record-high federal funding of chip research at universities. The commitment to aggressively support activities at multiple U.S. universities is viewed by SRC as evidence that the U.S. government has not given up on cultivating capabilities for the American-made semiconductor. An effective bi-partisan effort by Congress on the issue is credited with allocation of a record $20 million annually to drive progress in chips by U.S. institutions of higher learning, beginning in 2009.

"America's economic future is vitally linked to its ability to maintain leadership in the electronics industry. The semiconductor lies at the heart of that industry and this budget announcement demonstrates a national mission to do what it takes to keep the leading innovations here," said Larry Sumney, CEO and president of SRC. "With the largest single investment by the government in recent years for this type of university research, forward-looking leaders and scientific agencies across the country have joined to help put the best young technical minds in charge of future U.S. competitiveness."

Comprised of nearly 40 top universities in 18 states, the Focus Center Research Program (FCRP is led by the SRC to create future semiconductor technologies through the country's best research programs. The resulting advancements are transferred to U.S. government and Focus Center industry members to drive state-of-art electronic applications.

"The new budget marks a record-high level of government leadership in support of America's university research efforts for the universally important semiconductor," said Dr. Rob A. Rutenbar, Jatras professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University and a veteran of public-private, leading-edge semiconductor research. "They're making it clear that they want students to have a fighting chance to find breakthroughs that will benefit our country's security and economic progress."

Driving the need for the research is the continued shrinkage, or scaling, to meet increasingly progressive applications with the industry's current silicon-based materials that may lead to limited growth for future applications. The new funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is aimed at advancement of one of the primary goals of the FCRP -- identification of how to extend CMOS (, the most widely used silicon-based semiconductor technology, to its ultimate limits.

Designed as a pillar of the U.S. semiconductor research strategy, the FCRP is a natural extension of the historically strong relationship between the U.S. government, American chip industry and the nation's university research community. FCRP is co-funded by the government and industry to create radical innovations in chip technology that will facilitate continued progress for America's economy and quality of life, as well as for the nation's security and defense capabilities. The unique management model for FCRP is designed to facilitate more rapid creation of breakthrough options.

Benefits of the research will serve the government, chipmakers, equipment and software suppliers, and end-users for communications, computing, security, automotive and consumer electronics, and a wide range of other applications that are dependent on silicon chip performance.

About SRC: Celebrating 26 years of collaborative research for the semiconductor industry, SRC defines industry needs, invests in and manages the research that gives its members a competitive advantage in the dynamic global marketplace. Awarded the National Medal of Technology, America's highest recognition for contributions to technology, SRC expands the industry knowledge base and attracts premier students to help innovate and transfer semiconductor technology.

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