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Home > Press > AmberWave Systems and Rochester Institute of Technology Awarded Grant from the National Science Foundation

Abstract:
Technology Groups to Collaborate on Emerging Semiconductor Applications Research

AmberWave Systems and Rochester Institute of Technology Awarded Grant from the National Science Foundation

SALEM, NH | Posted on August 29th, 2007

AmberWave Systems, a leader in the research, development and licensing of advanced technologies for semiconductor manufacturing, announced today that they, along with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), were awarded a three-year research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The research grant will allow the two organizations to explore the integration of compound semiconductor devices on silicon using a technique called Aspect Ratio Trapping (ART), an initial development by AmberWave Systems.

"The joint venture between RIT and AmberWave is an example of our interest in cultivating technology from the ground level up," said Richard Faubert, president and CEO of AmberWave Systems. "We are extremely enthusiastic about what the partnership will bring to the advancement of semiconductor devices."

ART is a technology that may open the door to faster, more powerful chips, which could find their way into a wide range of applications, from silicon-based photonics to improved photovoltaic cells. In the case of silicon photonics, ART could allow manufacturers to combine different materials onto a silicon base, forming chips that use light pulses to carry data, similar to fiber optic technology. The result is increased speed of data transmission much faster than today's current systems allow.

"This award plays on the value of industry and university collaboration and the demonstrated strengths of AmberWave in the area of epitaxial thin film electronic materials, and of RIT's Microelectronics researchers in the area of integrating novel materials into mainstream silicon microelectronics devices to enhance performance," said Dr. Donald Boyd, vice president for research at RIT.

The III-V electronic materials, such as those being investigated by the help of the NSF grant, have been used for years in niche markets, requiring extreme high-speed performance, optical properties, and/or radio frequency properties. Yet, they have seen little market penetration for more mainstream applications due to high costs and difficulty in integration with conventional, inexpensive silicon electronics. However, ART would allow manufacturers to capitalize on their investments in current manufacturing technologies, reducing considerable costs, and allowing the devices to be included in a wide range of products at consumer-friendly prices.

"The research holds the potential for seamlessly integrating III-V and silicon microelectronics to retain the best properties of each, opening up the possibility for truly massive speed improvements in memory and processor chips, integrated silicon-photonic devices for ultra-high bandwidth fiber-optic communications, and novel radio frequency chips for wireless communications," Boyd added.

The principal investigators working on this collaboration are Dr. Santosh Kurinec and Dr. Sean Rommel of RIT's Department of Microelectronic Engineering.

RIT is the only institution that has a microelectronic engineering program dedicated to education and research in the area of micro/nanoelectronics and microsystems engineering. The microelectronic engineering program is equipped with a full CMOS fabrication line run by undergraduate and graduate students. In this project with AmberWave, two students are engaged, Stuart Seig (a New Hampshire native) and David Pawlik. More students will be involved as the project progresses.

####

About AmberWave Systems
Founded in 1998, AmberWave Systems has become a leader in the research, development and licensing of advanced technologies for semiconductor manufacturing. By funding and guiding university research, AmberWave Systems is bringing new technology developments to fruition through patents and technology licensing. In conjunction with its university research projects, AmberWave Systems conducts its own research, development and limited manufacturing in its semiconductor fabrication facility in Salem, New Hampshire. In addition, AmberWave Systems collaborates with other technology focused companies to further expand and develop its research. For more information about the company, please visit its Web site at http://www.amberwave.com .

About Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. More than 15,500 full- and part-time students are enrolled in RIT’s 340 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. For nearly two decades, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. The Princeton Review features RIT in its 2007 Best 361 Colleges rankings and named the university one of America’s “Most Wired Campuses.” RIT is also featured in Barron’s Best Buys in Education.

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Contacts:
Shelton Group
Melissa Conger
972-239-4559 ext. 137

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