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Georgia Tech To Collaborate with Semiconductor Research on Chip Development

Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta is partnering with Semiconductor Research Corp. to create a $2.5 million research center focused on transistor interconnects and chip packaging. The Interconnect and Packaging Center (IPC) will bring academia, industry, and government together to develop faster performing chips that are more energy efficient.

The cooperative work of the center's participants is aimed at two objectives: creation of leading-edge technologies that connect billions of transistors on a chip, called interconnects, and improved ability of different chips to communicate with each other through enhanced packaging. Smaller, more powerful chips could be the result.

"Transistors have made enormous progress in speed, performance, and miniaturization, which places greater demand on the electrical connections between transistors, and between individual chips. The interconnect and packaging challenges are greater today than ever," said Paul Kohl, director for the IPC.

To facilitate huge computing gains, about half of the IPC research will focus on new 3D technology. 3D can provide the semiconductor industry with viable options for stacking multiple chips vertically at room temperature while maintaining millions of inter-die electrical connections.

"The 3D approach to packaging is one of the most promising options for improving functionality and performance to help ensure the continued success of the semiconductor industry," explained Scott List, director of Interconnect and Packaging Sciences for SRC-GRC, a Semiconductor Research entity dedicated to extending the future of CMOS. "2009 is clearly a very difficult time for the industry but continued sharing of research dollars in order to deliver these critical technologies provides a strong prescription for a brighter future."

Research efforts will take place at multiple institutions besides Georgia Tech, including Harvard, The University of Texas at Austin, Iowa State University, and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.

SRC is providing $500,000 per year to IPC for three years. The State of Georgia is providing $320,000 for each of three years. The IPC will be based in the new Marcus Nanotechnology Building at Georgia Tech.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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