Focus Centers

FCRP Legacy Content

FCRP Phase V ended on 31-Jan-2013, and this content may no longer be current.

Longer term microelectronics research is now being sponsored by DARPA and industry participants in STARnet (FCRP Phase VI).

Focus Centers are virtual in that they consist of multiple universities. This allows for tapping of the best expertise at a number of institutions in order to build the greatest overall capability in a particular technology area. Each center is managed by a full-time university center director and addresses one of the major technology focus areas of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS).

In order to provide the contributions necessary to keep the semiconductor industry on its technological growth track, heavy emphasis is placed on achieving key long-term research results. Although the needs identified by the ITRS provide a meaningful guideline for the research objectives, a measurable percentage of the effort also encompasses activities not envisioned by the Roadmap. Funding for each Focus Centers is targeted to be in the neighborhood of $8M/year. Actual funding levels may deviate from the target amount as the program evolves.

Each Focus Center is expected to have or develop the following key attributes:

  • A compelling and well-articulated vision for long-term, exploratory research important for U.S. semiconductor industry competitiveness; a vision that is both embraced and enthusiastically deployed; a vision that leads to the conception, demonstration, and evaluation of revolutionary options;
  • An interactive, cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional environment, where the implications of all research plans and results are adequately comprehended by a team of center investigators;
  • A dynamic process for program evolution, including adding, subtracting and modifying theme areas;
  • Acknowledged global leadership in the technical field based on pioneering contributions;
  • A crisp, motivating and empowering message that can be remembered and used by all center participants as a guiding principle to make decisions;
  • An up-to-date understanding of all significant technology barriers within a center's area of focus and an understanding of the larger context in which the center's work is performed.

The microelectronics industry relies heavily upon continuing advancements in semiconductor integrated circuit design and manufacturing technologies. As the industry strives to maintain its historic record of productivity advances, the cost and complexity of the underlying research and development continues to escalate dramatically. To meet this growing challenge, additional emphasis on long-range research is required. FCRP is a natural extension of the historic strong relationship between the industry and the U.S. research university community.



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