WASHINGTON The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is seeking an additional $20 million in fiscal 2009 for semiconductor research at U.S. universities.
According to budget documents and an industry group, the new Darpa budget request would be fund research within the a university program established nearly a decade ago called the Focus Center Research Program. The inititiative is led by Darpa and the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC, Research Triangle Park, N.C.). It includes 40 universities in 18 states.
Among other projects, the Darpa funding will focus on how to extend CMOS technology to "its ultimate limits," SRC officials said.
"They're making it clear that they want students to have a fighting chance to find breakthroughs that will benefit our country's security and economic progress," Rob Rutenbar, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said in a statement released by SRC on Thursday (Feb. 7).
According to budget documents, Darpa intends to use the funds for focus center research on "materials, structures and devices" as well as "circuits, systems and software." If the funding request is approved by Congress, it would be used "to develop novel device fabrication and integration approaches for deeply-scaled transistors and architectures for high-performance mixed signal circuits for military needs," Darpa's budget request states.
The new funds would also be used for "electronics, photonics and microelectromechanical architectures and algorithms," according to the budget request.