A new, $26 million research center focusing on advancing computing technologies will be led by the University of Notre Dame. ASCENT, which stands for the Applications and Systems-driven Center for Energy-Efficient integrated Nano Technologies, will involve 20 faculty members representing more than a dozen research universities throughout the country, including Notre Dame and Purdue University.

Research through the center is targeted at boosting the performance, efficiency and capabilities of commercial and defense computing systems of the future. ASCENT Director and Notre Dame engineering professor Suman Datta says "we have assembled a group of globally recognized technical leaders in a wide range of areas – from materials science and device physics to circuit design and advanced packaging. Working together, we look forward to developing the next generation of innovative device technologies."

The associate director will be Cal-Berkeley electrical engineering and computer science professor Sayeef Salahuddin.

Researchers will target four technology areas:

  • three-dimensional integration of device technologies beyond a single planar layer (vertical CMOS)
  • spin-based device concepts that combine processing and memory functions (beyond CMOS)
  • heterogeneous integration of functionally diverse nano-components into integrated microsystems (heterogeneous integration fabric)
  • hardware accelerators for data intensive cognitive workloads (merged logic-memory fabric)

ASCENT partners include Notre Dame, Purdue, Arizona State University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-San Diego, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Colorado and the University of Texas-Dallas.

You can connect to more about the collaboration by clicking here.