Interconnect Focus Center

IFC is moving beyond copper to discover and invent interconnect solutions—electrical, optical and thermal—that enable hyper-integration of heterogeneous components.


The Interconnect Focus Center (IFC) conducts research to discover and invent new electrical, optical and thermal interconnect solutions that will enable hyper-integration of heterogeneous components for future terascale systems.

The IFC was founded in 1998 to research all aspects of the wiring that connect the millions of transistors on a microchip, from process to system-level architecture. Today and in the future, the microelectronics and nanotechnology industries will lead the evolution of technology in industries from automotive to medical, and from computing to aviation. The IFC strives to stay atop all advances in these fields and play a major role in driving this technology into the future. To that end, the center's research themes have evolved to accommodate this goal.

Research Focus

Exacerbating factors pertaining to the copper-based interconnect schemes for use in future sub-50 nanometer generations of silicon technology drive the need to invent new interconnect solutions. The research focus in the IFC is to discover and invent electrical, optical and thermal interconnect solutions that enable hyper-integration of heterogeneous components. The approach is to capitalize on the enormous amount of research being conducted in nanoscience and technology to develop novel high conductance electrical interconnects to replace copper. Our research also identifies and explores the opportunities and barriers for optical interconnects that will scale to meet the needs of future gigascale silicon electronic systems with emphasis on input/output and global on-chip interconnects.

Interconnect-driven circuit and system design, and modeling are investigated to understand the fundamental trade-offs between electrical and optical interconnections for short-haul communication. In view of the foreseen technology roadblocks of power delivery and thermal management, novel approaches in these areas will be explored.

Research in Interconnect addresses the following six themes:

  1. Electrical Interconnects
  2. Optical Interconnects
  3. Thermal Dissipation and Power Management
  4. Circuit and System Design and Modeling
  5. Driver I: High Performance Network Routing/Computing Chip
  6. Driver II: Low-Power Platform for Integration of New Materials and Functions

Center Management

Center Director

Paul A. Kohl / Georgia Tech

IFC Leadership Council

The Director serves as Chairman of the IFC Leadership Council. The Leadership Council typically confers by telephone on a biweekly basis.

An Associate Director and an Administrative and Financial Manager also participate in Leadership Council meetings. The Administrative and Financial Manager also serves as Chairperson of the IFC Administrative Committee composed of members from each of the five major sites of the IFC. The IFC Administrative Committee facilitates budget actions, annual program reviews and quarterly workshops of the center.

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).

IFC Metrics

  1. Since Inception

    24 Projects
    25 Universities
    523 Research Scholars
    116 Faculty Researchers
    21 Liaisons
    2,889 Research Data
    13 Patents Granted
Updated: 18-Jun-2024, 12:05 a.m. ET

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