Research & Technology
Federal research advances semiconductor technology and enables new job creation
The success of the semiconductor industry is due to continuous technological advances built upon robust research and development. Long-term fundamental science research performed at universities and funded by the industry and the Federal government is critical to sustaining the pipeline of new discoveries that will fuel the semiconductor industry, our nation’s economy and new job creation in America.
Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI), managed through the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), supports university research finding a replacement technology to allow faster, smaller, more energy efficient devices beyond the limits of today’s semiconductor technology.
Industry, Universities, & Government Partner on the Challenge
- Semiconductor industry leaders like GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM, Intel, Micron, and Texas Instruments contribute millions of dollars annually to this effort. Government and university support leverages these funds for a combined total of approximately $20 million annually, supporting nearly 40 universities, 75 professors, and 150 students in 20 states.
- In addition to directly supporting the NRI centers, the National Science Foundation (NSF) accepts NRI funding for projects at the NSF Nanoscience Centers across the U.S., which not only leverages NSF’s large investments to fuel basic science and support students, but also helps promote research in relevant areas for future nanoelectronics innovation.
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which directly supports the four NRI multi-university centers and also lends its metrology expertise. Advancing nanoelectronics requires measuring structures with atomic accuracy, characterizing new materials and molecules, and even measuring the signals from individual electrons – if we can't measure it, we can't make it.
- State governments in California, Indiana, New York, and Texas and the City of South Bend are investing in the NRI in recognition of the significant employment benefits that will follow commercialization of nanoelectronic technology.
Continuing NRI’s Success: Action Requested
Since its inception in 2005, NRI has produced 600 technical publications and 19 patent disclosures. Still this basic research is just beginning and the initial efforts are small compared to the government’s efforts in the 1940’s and 1950’s which led to the early semiconductor inventions. Nanoelectronics research must grow significantly over the next several years. Congress should continue to fund NSF and NIST budgets that support nanoelectronics research.
FCRP: $40 Million Annually for Cutting-Edge Innovation
Since 1997 the Department of Defense and the U.S. semiconductor and supplier industries have jointly funded university research through the Focus Center Research Program (FCRP). By focusing on mid- to long-term research projects of great interest to our national defense and the semiconductor industry, FCRP projects help maintain U.S. leadership in a technology vital to U.S. prosperity, security and intelligence.
SIA also supports the priorities of the Task Force on American Innovation, an alliance of America's most innovative companies, leading research universities and largest scientific societies that aims to support scientific research in the physical sciences and engineering.
The National Research Council within the National Academies recently released a timely report on this topic titled "Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation's Prosperity and Security." Below is a video that provides insightful background on the report.