SRC hires IBM research exec for nano post

August 7, 2006 – Semiconductor Research Corp., a university-research consortium for semiconductor technologies, has appointed Jeffrey Welser as director of its Nanotechnology Research Initiative (NRI), overseeing research in nanoelectronics in collaboration with U.S. federal and state government research agencies. Among the group’s goals will be to develop an information element that can replace the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (CMOS FET) in the year 2020 or beyond, as well as the necessary technology to integrate the new information element with CMOS.

Welser, a member of SRC’s technical advisory board since 2003, previously was director of next-generation computing technology at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA. In the past decade he has held several leadership positions at IBM, including director of high-performance CMOS technology, management committee leader for the Sony-Toshiba-AMD-IBM Development Alliance, and manager of the exploratory silicon devices & circuits organization at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center.

Welser succeeds Hans Coufal, who has taken an extended leave of absence from the NRI and SRC. Coufal, an executive with IBM since 1981 and a holder of 13 patents, was named to head up the SRC’s new Nanoelectronics Research Corp. (NERC) unit in August 2005.

The NRI, in collaboration with the NSF, coordinates research in nanotechnology among several major universities in the US, through three major research centers, each involving support from SRC members and state government — the Western Institute of Nanoelectronics (WIN), hosted by UCLA with participation from UC-Berkeley, UCSB, and Stanford; the Institute for Nanoelectronic Discovery and Exploration (INDEX), based at SUNY-Albany (New York), including Georgia Tech, Harvard U., MIT, Purdue U., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Yale U.; and the planned Southwest Academy for Nanoelectronics (SWAN) at U. Texas-Austin, with proposed involvement from other universities such as Rice, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Notre Dame, the U. of Virginia, and Arizona State.

SRC has been busy in recent weeks, announcing a pair of initiatives since late July. The first, with the U. of Michigan, and the National Science Foundation (NSF), laid out a joint three-year project to develop defect-tolerant designs for chips “that refuse to fail.” Days before, the SRC opened a Non-Classical CMOS Research Center with five universities to collaborate on development III-V compound semiconductors, seeking production-quality results that could replace classical silicon CMOS as early as 2012.


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