The 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 Partnerships
- 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 more than 60 universities, 330 professors, and 680 students in 23 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
Since its inception in 2005, NRI has produced more than 3,300 technical publications and 20 issued patents. 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.
In January 2018, a new $60M+, public-private research program called nCORE will be launched. nCore seeks to enable novel computing paradigms and information processing systems with significantly improved efficiency, enhanced performance, and new functionalities. For more information, please visit the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) website.