SIA to expand Focus Center Research Program

March 14, 2001–Washington, DC–The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced that it is doubling the size of its Focus Center Research Program, a collaborative research and development effort involving a number of the nation’s top universities. The Focus Center–funded jointly by the U.S. semiconductor industry (50%), the semiconductor equipment manufacturing industry (25%), and the U.S. Department of Defense (25%)–will channel more than $500 million into leading U.S. research universities over a 10-year period to ensure continued advancements in microelectronics technology.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will lead research into advanced materials, structures, and devices that extend the life of planar-bulk CMOS silicon. This is the mainstream technology used by the semiconductor industry today. The group will also explore new switching technology beyond silicon CMOS. Joining MIT are: University of California, Berkeley; Princeton; Purdue; Stanford, SUNY – Albany; UCLA; University of Texas, Austin; and University of Virginia.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) will lead a team studying circuits, systems, and software design, targeting circuit analysis and synthesis, system level technologies, and application methodologies for future computing devices. Joining CMU are: MIT; Stanford; University of California, Berkeley; Columbia; University of Illinois; Princeton; Rochester Polytechnic Institute; and the University of Washington.

“This program demonstrates how successful a collaborative relationship between industry, government, and academia can be,” says Dr. John Kelly, chairman of the SIA Board of Directors and senior vice president and group executive of IBM. “With the growing importance of technology to the economy, it is essential that we work together where it makes sense to drive fundamental advances.”

“Semiconductors are the technological underpinnings of the Information Age. Joining great universities with the long-term horizon of the Focus Center Research Program allows us to explore the frontiers of technology and return with practical solutions,” explains Dr. Craig Barrett, chairman of the SIA Focus Center Research Program and president and CEO of Intel Corp. “The Focus Center Research Program is the largest sustained university research program in the world focused on semiconductors, the building blocks of computers, the Internet, wireless, and telecommunications.”

The Focus Center Research Program, established by the Semiconductor Industry Association in 1998, is forming and expanding a national network of universities conducting cutting-edge semiconductor research deemed critical to the growth of the technology industries and the nation’s economy. The program is managed by the Microelectronics Advanced Research Corp., a subsidiary of the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC), based in Research Triangle Park, NC, for the industry, and by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense.


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