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Semiconductor Industry Forms Unique Partnership with Government and Universities to Develop Next-Generation Chip Technology


WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 – The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today announced a continued partnership between the semiconductor industry and government to fund critical university research to develop the next generation of microelectronics technology. The Semiconductor Technology Advanced Research network (STARnet) – administered by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and funded jointly by industry and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – will allocate a total of $194 million over the next five years to 39 universities across the country for leading-edge semiconductor research.

"Semiconductors – the building blocks of modern technology – have bolstered America's economic strength and national security while also improving our everyday lives," said Brian Toohey, SIA president and CEO. "By developing the next generation of semiconductor technologies, the STARnet program will help keep America at the forefront of innovation and ensure the long-term success of the U.S. semiconductor industry. Thanks to tremendous investments from semiconductor industry leaders and government, the scale and scope of the STARnet program is unmatched by any other industry."

STARnet comprises the following six multi-university research centers, which involve a total of 39 universities:

  • the Center for Future Architectures Research (C-FAR), led by the University of Michigan;
  • the Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces and Novel Architectures (C-SPIN), led by the University of Minnesota;
  • the Center for Function Accelerated nanoMaterial Engineering (FAME), led by the University of California, Los Angeles;
  • the Center for Low Energy Systems Technology (LEAST), led by the University of Notre Dame;
  • the Center for Systems on Nanoscale Information Fabrics (SONIC), led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and
  • the TerraSwarm Research Center, led by the University of California, Berkeley.

"The STARnet program marks an exciting step forward for the U.S. semiconductor industry, America's tech sector, and the overall U.S. economy," said Dr. John E. Kelly III, IBM senior vice president, director of IBM Research, and SIA vice chairman. "STARnet is a shining example of the semiconductor industry's rich tradition of partnering with government and universities to drive American innovation."

SRC, the world's leading university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, administers the STARnet program. Industry partners include Applied Materials, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM, Intel Corporation, Micron Technology, Raytheon, Texas Instruments and United Technologies.

The STARnet program supports 145 research professors and 400 graduate students at 39 universities overall. The program is also helping develop the next-generation of Ph.D. graduates in electrical engineering, computer science and the physical sciences.

STARnet, one of several government-industry-university partnerships that aim to advance semiconductor technology, is the successor to the existing Focus Center Research Program (FCRP), which was launched in 1997.

"The U.S. semiconductor industry's unique model for industry-government-university collaborations will help ensure that the industry continues to create jobs, drive economic growth and develop the technologies needed to build a brighter future for our country," Toohey said.

For more information about the STARnet program, visit http://www.src.org/program/starnet/.

About the SIA

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is the voice of the U.S. semiconductor industry, one of America's top export industries and a key driver of America's economic strength, national security and global competitiveness. Semiconductors – microchips that control all modern electronics – enable the systems and products that we use to work, communicate, travel, entertain, harness energy, treat illness, and make new scientific discoveries.

The semiconductor industry directly employs nearly a quarter of a million people in the U.S. In 2011, U.S. semiconductor sales totaled more than $150 billion, and semiconductors make the global trillion dollar electronics industry possible. Founded in 1977 by five microelectronics pioneers, SIA unites companies that account for 80 percent of America's semiconductor production. Through this coalition, SIA seeks to strengthen U.S. leadership of semiconductor design and manufacturing by working with Congress, the Administration and other key industry stakeholders to encourage policies and regulations that fuel innovation, propel business and drive international competition. Learn more at www.sia-online.org.

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Source: SIA

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