Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research promises faster, cheaper and more reliable microchips

20.01.2003


A project between academia and industry is aiming to spark a world electronics revolution by producing faster, cheaper and more reliable microchips.



The University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, has joined forces with Amtel, on North Tyneside in the North East of England, to create ‘strained silicon’ microchips, which involves adding a material called germanium to the traditional silicon used in semiconductor manufacturing.

Atmel, whose silicon chips find applications in such diverse products as smart cards and game consoles like XBOX, is playing host to a team of five Newcastle University researchers led by top microelectronics professor Anthony O’Neill.


“With this process we can create strained silicon microchips, which will be much faster or use less battery power than conventional microchips” explained Professor Anthony O’Neill, who leads a team of 5 researchers. The team, hosted by Atmel, aim to produce the world’s first strained silicon technology, ahead of the competition.

“Microchips have doubled in performance every 18 months for the last 30 years, but the end of the road is now in sight, which means new innovations like strained silicon are needed at the leading edge of microelectronics,” added Professor O’Neill, l who has been working with strained silicon processes for almost ten years.

Atmel Managing Director Craig McInnes said: “This is great news for the North East because it brings real, commercial research and development to the region. This will help develop the knowledge-based economy which is vital for our future.

“We have the potential here for developing a brand new process which will give us cheaper and faster chips. These will be the market leaders of tomorrow. Atmel and Newcastle University have joined forces to develop some of the world’s fastest microchips.”

The research and development project based at Atmel’s North Tyneside semiconductor factory and involves joint working to unravel the complexities of working with a new material called strained silicon germanium.

Strained silicon on silicon-germanium has been tipped as one of the key emergent technologies for the next generation of semiconductors.

If the venture proves successful it will bring leading edge technology to the North East.

The two sides have entered in to a joint collaborative agreement and will share the fruits of the development if it proves to be a world beater.

Atmel will supply the manufacturing know-how to speed up the development.

The joint venture marks a break-though in collaborative working between Newcastle University and industry.

Prof O’Neill added: “This really is getting the research out of the lab into the commercial world. Working with Atmel will allow us to take the product from the drawing board to marketable reality a lot quicker than relying on the limited resources available to universities.

“Getting products to market quickly is vital in the fast-moving world of semiconductor manufacturing and development. If we are successful we will have a world first made on Tyneside.”

Claire Jordan | alfa

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht No more traffic blues for information transfer: decongesting wireless channels
11.11.2019 | Tokyo University of Science

nachricht A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'
11.11.2019 | Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

Im Focus: A Memory Effect at Single-Atom Level

An international research group has observed new quantum properties on an artificial giant atom and has now published its results in the high-ranking journal Nature Physics. The quantum system under investigation apparently has a memory - a new finding that could be used to build a quantum computer.

The research group, consisting of German, Swedish and Indian scientists, has investigated an artificial quantum system and found new properties.

Im Focus: Shedding new light on the charging of lithium-ion batteries

Exposing cathodes to light decreases charge time by a factor of two in lithium-ion batteries.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have reported a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

Smart lasers open up new applications and are the “tool of choice” in digitalization

30.10.2019 | Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnets for the second dimension

12.11.2019 | Machine Engineering

New efficiency world record for organic solar modules

12.11.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Non-volatile control of magnetic anisotropy through change of electric polarization

12.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>