College to host chip study project

Officials at the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering announced Monda

Officials at the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering announced Monday that for the next three years the college will serve as the headquarters of a $7.5 million research collaboration with the Semiconductor Research Corp. The research is aimed at developing microchips with faster nonelectronic switches.

The collaboration involves 27 projects at 14 research centers at colleges and universities across the United States, all to be coordinated by the New York Center for Advanced Interconnect Science and Technology located at the nanocollege, officials said.

According to state officials, the $7.5 million for the project will be spread out over three years with approximately $1.5 million coming from the Semiconductor Research Corp., $750,000 from New York state and $250,000 from private investment each-year. The New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation will also partner with the effort.

“That this initiative is centered in New York, at a State University of New York institution, is testament to the vision, support, and investments made by Governor Spitzer and our legislative leaders, who have created a globally recognized resource in nanotechnology education, research, development and commercialization,” Nanocollege Vice President and CEO Alain Kaloyeros said in a news release.

Scott List, a director of interconnect science for SRC, said five of the 27 projects will be based at the UAlbany nanocollege and Kaloyeros will direct the project and facilitate communication among all of the separate projects.

The other schools involved in the initiative include Columbia University, Cornell University, Lehigh University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Penn State, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stanford, SUNY Binghamton, University of Florida, University of Maryland, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Arlington, and the University of Texas at Austin, according to officials.

Nanocollege Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications Steve Janack said approximately 40 to 45 new jobs in the form of research assistants, new faculty, engineers and support staff will be created at UAlbany because of the collaboration with SRC.

“Everything is coordinated through here, with a significant number of projects located here. The nanocollege is really the headquarters and the spot where everything is integrated,” Janack said.

List said the new three-year collaboration is a continuation of SRC’s past partnership with UAlbany. He said the ultimate purpose of the research is to further enable Moore’s Law, a concept in computer science first expressed by Intel Corp. co-founder Gordon Moore.

According to Moore’s Law, the number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated circuit should increase exponentially, doubling approximately every two years.

List said in order to continue to make Moore’s Law a reality, researchers must develop new methods of building faster functioning microchips.

“We only select the very top echelon of researchers for this, so it’s quite an honor for the schools to be selected and SUNY New York is a great center to be coordinating this,” he said.

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