TI donates $2.2 million for UC Berkeley design lab
5/11/2012 1:18 AM EDT
SAN FRANCISCO—Texas Instruments Inc. said Thursday (May 10) it donated $2.2 million to the University of California-Berkeley to revamp the school's electronic design laboratory.
Gregg Lowe, senior vice president of TI's analog business, noted through a statement that TI expanded its Silicon Valley R&D base through last year's acquisition of National Semiconductor Corp. and said the donation reflects TI's commitment to foster innovation in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world.
"The gift also dovetails with TI's initiatives to increase internship opportunities for engineering students," Lowe said. "By engaging students early in their engineering education, we can help ignite lifelong ingenuity and passion for tackling the world's challenges with analog and embedded processors."
Renovating and equipping UC Berkeley's aging electronic design lab will allow students to study in a modern environment that organically cultivates community, collaboration and creativity, TI said. In addition to the monetary gift, TI is also donating development kits that incorporate a range of devices from its extensive semiconductor portfolio, along with supporting software, to enhance the hands-on learning experience in the classroom, the company said.
More than 1,000 students a year gain hands-on electronics experience in UC Berkeley's electronic design lab, which supports Introduction to Microelectronic Circuits and other gateway electrical engineering courses at the university.
"This is a unique opportunity to introduce a new generation of engineering students to the fun of building things that matter," said Professor Costas Spanos, chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley. "We will do this by infusing the 'maker' ethic early into the learning cycle, and by creating a place that brings together state-of-the-art instructional labs, a student meeting place and student-run space for hardware hacking."
The renovated lab will connect to UC Berkeley's mixed signals laboratory, which was originally funded by a gift from National Semiconductor, TI said.
In March, TI opened TI Silicon Valley Labs, a research center for innovation in analog and mixed signal electronics. The labs' charter is to conduct advanced research and development in analog and mixed signal circuits and technologies through recruitment of top talent and close collaboration with universities and customers.