Nano Science and Technology Institute

NSF and SIA Join Forces to Initiate Long-Term National Nanoelectronic Research Exploration

Program to Tap National Network of U.S. Research Universities
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 17, 2005--The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI), a consortium of members of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), have agreed to jointly fund a national university-based research program focused on long-term nanoelectronics exploration. NRI will be administered on behalf of the industrial participants by the Nanoelectronics Research Corporation (NERC), a subsidiary of the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC).

NSF and NRI will each contribute $1,000,000 to support research aimed at sustaining U.S. leadership in the global semiconductor industry. The six NRI industrial participants -- AMD, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Intel, Micron Technology, and Texas Instruments -- are providing funds for this effort.

This agreement represents the first step as part of the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI), announced last November by SIA, aimed at the acceleration of nanoelectronics research in universities -- research that is crucial not just to the semiconductor industry, but also to the broader information technology ecosystem.

"The global semiconductor industry is facing a critical technology transition over the next 10 to 15 years," said SIA President George Scalise. "The technology leaders of 2020 will be determined by actions taken today. The incubation period for new technologies is typically 15 years, making it essential for us to support basic research on nanoelectronics today."

The NRI will explore, both independently and in conjunction with government organizations, new approaches in emerging areas of electronics and other quantum variables (e.g., spin, phase, etc.) at the nanoscale level, aimed at discovering new devices that will work with industry-standard CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) in the year 2020 and beyond. Dr. Paolo Gargini of Intel (chair) and Dr. Hans Stork of Texas Instruments (vice-chair) will head the governing council overseeing NRI's efforts. Dr. Hans Coufal of IBM is the director of NERC and will lead the NRI Technical Program Group.

Other members of the governing council are: Dr. Craig Sander (AMD); Ms. Betsy Weitzman (Freescale); Dr. John Warlaumount (IBM); and Mr. Mark Durcan (Micron). Coordination with SIA and SRC will be the responsibility of Dr. Pushkar Apte, SIA, and Mr. Larry Sumney, SRC.

"For the first time, the U.S. government and the U.S. semiconductor industry are collaborating on long-term research on nanoelectronics," noted Dr. Gargini. "This is a very big deal over some very small structures. With these tiny nano transistors -- 10 nanometers in size -- we will be able to build 10 billion transistors in the space of a period made by a ballpoint pen."

"We believe investments in nanoelectronics are essential to start the engine of the technological revolution of the next decade," said Dr. Stork. "The program has already begun the effort to identify and recruit our best and brightest grad and post-doctoral students to help in this effort. It will really make the difference in our future -- as a nation, as an industry and as a profession."

"We are in a race for global leadership in Information Technology," said Scalise. "Other countries have recognized the critical importance and value of leadership in Information Technology and the role of nanoelectronics in achieving leadership. The United States has the world's greatest research universities, but to maintain their leadership, we must continue to fund basic research programs at these universities."

The SIA praised the work NSF has done over the past five years through its National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). "We believe we can accomplish even more by working together, and we welcome the opportunity to join forces with the National Science Foundation," Scalise concluded.

About the SIA

The SIA is the leading voice for the semiconductor industry and has represented U.S. semiconductor companies since 1977. Collectively, the chip industry employs a domestic workforce of 225,000 people. More information about the SIA can be found at

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