SAN FRANCISCOSutardja Dai Hall, named for the founders of Marvell Technology Group Ltd., opened recently on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, where it will serve as the headquarters for the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (Citris).
The building will house the Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory, equipped with advanced semiconductor fabrication equipment in two 15,000 square-foot cleanrooms. It is believed to be the first fully equipped 8-inch semiconductor fab line at any university campus.
The building was named for Marvell's foundersSehat Sutardja, Weili Dai and Pantas Sutardjain recognition of a donation described as substantially more than $20 million.
All three Marvell founders attended UC Berkeley in the 1980s. Sehat Sutardja and Dai are married with two sons, Christopher and Nicholas, both of whom are now undergraduate engineering students at the university.
In comments made at the Sutardja Dai Hall dedication Feb. 27, Dai described the trio's experience as foreign students and said UC Berkeley prepared them well. She said they felt fortunate that, as successful entrepreneurs, they were in a position to give back to the university, according to a summary of her comments sent by a Marvell spokesperson.
|Weili Dai, Marvell co-founder and vice president of sales for the company's Communications and Consumer business, speaks at the dedication of Sutardja Dai Hall at UC Berkeley Feb. 27.|
In a subsequent interview with EE Times, Dai echoed these comments and emphasized that the Marvell founders are committed to the importance of educationparticularly in difficult economic times, when funding from both government and private sources is harder to come by.
Dai also praised former the late Richard Newton, the electronics industry visionary and former dean of UC Berkeley's college of engineering, who died in 2007. It was the energy, enthusiasm and dedication shown by Newton as well as Shankar Shastry, current dean of the school's college of engineering, and Melissa Nidever, assistant dean of college relations, that moved the founders to become involved with the Citris program, Dai said.
Netwon played a key role in the formation of Citris, which has become a large-scale, multi-university effort. Citris attempts to tackle problems such as health care, poverty, and the environment with a multidisciplinary engineering approach that combines information, biological and nano technologies. More than 300 researchers from four UC campuses are currently involved in the program.
Dai said Citris would be a model of excellence for a new kind of collaboration and cooperation needed to battle the most challenging social, environmental and medical health problems the world faces.
|Sutardja Dai Hall, named for the founders of Marvell Technology Group, on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley.|
Photo by Doug Cody (courtesy of UC Berkeley).