The IMPACT research center is based on computational modeling and synergistic experimentation. Interconnect research will range from materials implementable in the medium term (e.g., quaternary alloys, monolayer-thickness conductive liners and ferromagnet/paramagnet laminate stacks for RF) to materials exhibiting novel carrier transport physics such as liner-free, oxide- and non-oxide-based topological metals. For memory, novel PCM, ECRAM, and defect-engineered ferroelectrics will be explored with the focus on neuromorphic applications. Choices of new materials will be driven by machine learning to identify new manufacturable materials and by new simulation methods that accurately address scattering and transport, and modeling of bulk and interface thermal properties. For thermal management, the focus will be on novel nano- and microparticle-based electrically insulating, but thermally conducting, materials for both VLSI and high-power micro/millimeter wave applications. For backend transistors with record on/off current ratios, the focus will be on room-temperature sputter- and ALD-grown multi-component amorphous oxides.
The objective of the IMPACT Center is to strategically design, synthesize, and benchmark innovative new materials primarily for 1) scaled, reconfigurable, and mm-wave interconnects and 2) storage-class and neuromorphic memory with thermal engineering and management. These areas of materials and process technology research are critical bottlenecks that must be overcome to enable advanced computing technologies. The research agenda in IMPACT is aggressive in prioritizing and exploring new materials and transport physics concepts, based on a first principles approach, which can overcome the aforementioned bottle-necks and open up new paradigms of data transfer and storage.
The research agenda is inverted compared to typical materials research. The Center is guided by applications such as data-intensive compute, mm-wave communication, in-memory computing, cognitive computing, and reconfigurable computing systems. The portfolio of materials and devices research in IMPACT has been chosen not only to create materials with exotic properties, but to deliver new materials with specific enhancements for future circuits and systems and nontraditional computing archetypes.
Current13 Research Tasks7 Universities21 Students15 Faculty Researchers70 Liaison Personnel
Last Year13 Task Starts59 Research Publications2 Patent Applications