San Jose, CA – The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) welcomed the introduction by House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert of legislation that would authorize a 15% increase in the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget.
“Corporate technology development builds on the solid foundation of scientific research performed at our nation’s universities,” said George Scalise, SIA president. “Without a fundamental understanding of the properties of materials approaching atomic dimensions, we cannot continue to improve the speed, density, and cost of semiconductors.”
Much of the productivity gains our economy enjoyed in the late 1990’s were the result of advances in semiconductor technology, SIA said. The benefits of furthering these trends are similarly significant; by the end of the decade, the cost of memory may decline to 1/20 today’s cost and microprocessors can become 10 times faster, thus allowing for affordable streaming internet video, telemedicine, and other significant advanced applications.
However, the physical limits of the materials and processes that the industry has relied on for the past 30 years have begun to be reached. Finding solutions to these challenges will require increased understanding of the fundamental device physics and properties of materials, as well as breakthrough approaches to technical problems coming from long-term, pre-competitive, university-based research, SIA said.
“The growth in our nation’s economy resulting from technology-driven productivity improvements far exceed the added investments in science required to realize these benefits,” added Scalise. “To achieve this growth, Congress must authorize and appropriate increased funding in science fields such as nanotechnology that underlay future information technology advances.”