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Jan 19, 2013 02:54 AM EST

US Universities to Produce Next-Generation Microelectronics


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) have awarded $194 million in grants to top six American universities in the country to develop next generation processors.

The University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, UCLA and UC Berkeley will take part in the Semiconductor Technology Advanced Research network (STARnet) program to develop CPUs that are energy efficient, scalable and powerful.

STARnet will help the United States to maintain the country's dominance in Semiconductor technology.vital to the country's prosperity, security and intelligence.

"STARnet is a collaborative network of stellar university research centers whose goal is to enable the continued pace of growth of the microelectronics industry, unconstrained by the daunting list of fundamental physical limits that threaten," Gilroy Vandentop, the new SRC program executive director said in a statement.

This program includes 145 research professors, about 400 graduate students from primary and participating universities, and six microelectronic research centers.Every year for the next five years, the project will receive around $40 million, out of which each center will get about $6 million. 

Center for Future Architectures Research

University of Michigan

Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces and Novel Architectures

University of Minnesota

Center for Function Accelerated nanoMaterial Engineering

University of California, Los Angeles

Center for Low Energy Systems Technology

University of Notre Dame

Center for Systems on Nanoscale Information fabrics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

TerraSwarm Research Center

University of California, Berkeley

The program will also help produce next-gen Ph.D. graduates in electrical engineering, computer science, and the physical sciences.

Some of the specific missions of the STARnet university research centers include:

  • C-FAR at University of Michigan: Research future scalable computer systems architectures that maximally leverage emerging circuit fabrics to enable whole new commercial/defense application areas through a highly collaborative research agenda. Participating universities include: Columbia, Duke, Georgia Tech, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, Illinois, Washington and Virginia.
  • C-SPIN at University of Minnesota: Bring together multi-disciplinary researchers in the area of spintronic materials, devices, circuits and architectures to explore and create the fundamental building blocks that allow revolutionary spin-based multi-functional, scalable memory devices and computational architectures to be realized. Participating universities include: UC Riverside, Cornell, Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, Alabama, Iowa, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Penn State, UC Santa Barbara, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

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