The Semiconductor Research Corporation, a global technology R&D organization, has recently announced funding for the Joint University Microelectronics Program. The five-year program will commit $200 million to six academic research centers across the United States, advancing long-term research in the microelectronics field. For the first time in its history, two academic research centers through the SRC program will be hosted in a single state – right here in Indiana.
Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame were selected as two of the six JUMP centers, meaning that they will be hosting and coordinating world-renowned researchers and engineers from across the globe with a common ambitious goal of fundamental advances in microelectronics. Combined with existing research programs already underway, we’ll effectively be at the epicenter of academic activity in this transformative sector, garnering national attention that could lead to future commercial investment and job creation in our state.
As part of the program’s structure, each JUMP center will focus on key technology themes, and help drive research in electronic systems including materials, devices, advanced architectures, circuit designs and application algorithms. Many of the developments in these areas will have lasting impact on both the commercial and defense sectors for years to come. Moreover, the participating students from Purdue, Notre Dame and other universities will have the opportunity to work with the world’s foremost experts in microelectronics, helping to turn them into tomorrow’s thought leaders.
Purdue’s Center for Brain-inspired Computing Enabling Autonomous Intelligence (C-BRIC) will lead research efforts to develop brain-inspired computing for intelligent autonomous systems like drones or personal robots. Notre Dame’s Applications and Systems-driven Center for Energy-Efficient integrated Nano Technologies (ASCENT) will conduct research targeted at boosting the performance, efficiency and capabilities of future computing systems for both commercial and defense applications.
Throughout the program, researchers will collaborate with partner universities as well as several industry sponsors including Intel, Micron, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and many others. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will also help provide the resources and support needed for these centers to develop the world’s next generation of microelectronic technology.
Combined both universities will receive more than $53 million from the SRC. At the state level, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has offered to provide funding, pending final approval from our board of directors, to support execution of the programs’ research at over a 17:1 leverage.
With the state landing two of SRC’s major academic research centers, one thing is clear: Indiana is emerging as a global leader for innovation and entrepreneurship in microelectronics. Given the ubiquity of this technology in the present and emerging digital economy, Hoosiers are truly advancing breakthrough technologies that will change the way the world works.
David Roberts is chief innovation officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.