New Programs to Drive Industry Search for Next Logic Device by Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and National Science Foundation (NSF)

Projects Underway at 12 NSF University Centers to Further the Nation's Lead in Nanoelectronics Innovation

May 28, 2008

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. - Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the world's leading university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, today joined with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to announce funding of $2M in grants for nanoelectronics research at six major NSF centers across seven U.S. universities. The results of the effort are expected to bring the total number of NRI-NSF projects to 18, at 12 NSF centers, and significantly advance the search for the replacement of the basic semiconductor logic structure that has served as the workhorse for the world's electronics for decades.

"Semiconductor technology is indispensable to electronics that range from cell phones to supercomputers, so nanoelectronics progress is vital to innovation in all areas of science as well as to our nation's continued economic growth," said Dr. Jeff Welser, director of the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI), a research entity of SRC. "The joint NSF-NRI efforts represent some of the country's best talent working on many of the country's most important advancements toward discovery of the next logic switch. The results are expected to support continued leadership in the new nanoelectronics era."

The centers will contribute directly to a primary goal of NRI, the development of an information element that can replace the Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor (CMOS FET) in the year 2020 or beyond, as well as the necessary technology to integrate the new information element with CMOS. The most widely used integrated circuit technology, CMOS is found in almost every electronic product, from handheld devices to mainframe computers.

The joint NSF-NRI supplemental grants were awarded to teams at six NSF centers in nanoelectronics research, along with their research leaders:

  • Center for Science and Engineering Materials, a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, directed by Dr. Harry Atwater at Caltech, with project team led by Dr. Marc Bockrath
  • Network for Computational Nanotechnology, directed by Dr. Mark Lundstrom at Purdue University, working with Dr. Joerg Appenzeller
  • Center for Electronic Transport in Molecular Nanostructures, a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, directed by Dr. James Yardley at Columbia University, working with Dr. Philip Kim
  • Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, directed by Dr. Ellen Williams at the University of Maryland, with project team led by Dr. Michael Fuhrer
  • Center for Probing the Nanoscale, a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, directed by Dr. Kathryn Mohler at Stanford University, with project team led by Dr. David Goldhaber-Gordon at Stanford and Dr. Matthew Gilbert at University of Texas at Austin
  • Science of Nanoscale Systems and their Device Applications, a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, directed by Dr. Robert Westervelt at Harvard University, working with Dr. Shriram Ramanathan

Companies participating in NRI are AMD, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Intel, Micron and Texas Instruments. They will assign researchers to collaborate with the university teams. Strong interactions with these NSF centers will be instrumental in NRI reaching its goal of demonstrating novel computing devices and their feasibility in simple computer circuits during the next 5-10 years.

"These supplemental grants will leverage NSF's significant fundamental research investments in nanoelectronics," said Dr. Lawrence Goldberg, senior engineering advisor at NSF. "Providing support for additional graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to the six centers' programs should demonstrably advance new concepts and, at the same time, help in developing new generations of researchers in this emerging field."

The NSF-NRI grants are for three years and are, in addition to the twelve grants made to NSF centers over the last two years, expanding and strengthening the commitment to the program.

The Nanoelectronics Research Initiative is one of three research program entities of 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. For more information, visit

About NSF
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of $5.92 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to over 1,700 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 42,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly. For more information, visit NSF Center web sites, for reference:

SRC media contact

Joshua A. Chamot
National Science Foundation (NSF)
( 703) 292-7730

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

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