Research at Six Universities Including MIT,
Funded by SRC’s Global Research Collaboration (GRC), SSB concentrates on synergies between synthetic biology and semiconductor technology that can foster exploratory, multi-disciplinary, longer-term university research leading to novel, breakthrough solutions for a wide range of industries. Results from the university research, guided by semiconductor industry needs, should significantly enhance and accelerate opportunities for advancing properties, design and applications for future generations of integrated circuits.
“The role of the SSB program is to stimulate non-traditional thinking about the issues facing the semiconductor industry, and these forward-looking projects will aggressively explore new dimensions for pairing biological activities and semiconductors to benefit society,” said Dr.
The first stage of the new program will support six exploratory projects in three related, but distinct, areas: (1) Cytomorphic-Semiconductor Circuit Design that applies lessons from cell biology to new chip architectures and vice versa; (2) Bio-Electric Sensors, Actuators and Energy Sources dedicated to enabling hybrid semiconductor-biological systems; and (3) Molecular-precision Additive Fabrication that creates manufacturing processes at the few-nanometer scale that are inspired by biology. Results from this Stage 1 research program will be used to guide future generations of SSB research. Approximately
“University researchers welcome this academia-industry partnership to do long-term research,” said Professor
Specific profiles of the three areas of research are:
Cytomorphic-Semiconductor Circuit Design
Designers for semiconductor circuits and systems have begun to look to biological sciences for new approaches to analog and digital design and to circuits and system architectures, especially for minimum-energy electronic systems. The term ‘cytomorphic electronics’ refers to electronic circuits and information processing inspired by the operation of chemical circuits and information processing in cells.
Bioelectric Sensors, Actuators and Energy Sources
Biological sensors have the potential to play an important role in multi-functional semiconductor systems. SRC plans to integrate live cells with CMOS technology and thus form a hybrid bio-semiconductor system that provides high signal sensitivity and specificity at low operating energy.
Molecular-precision Additive Fabrication
As the demands continue to grow for the most exacting pattern formation for semiconductor fabrication — and feature sizes shrink to the 5 nanometer (nm) regime — molecular-based self-assembly could offer an alternative to lithographically driven manufacturing. DNA can be used as an active agent to provide information content to guide structure formation. SRC plans to pursue processes that will both improve fabrication yields and provide purification of correctly formed structures to significantly reduce the occurrence of defects in making DNA nanostructures.
Celebrating 31 years of collaborative research for the semiconductor industry, SRC defines industry needs, invests in and manages the research that gives its members a competitive advantage in the dynamic global marketplace. Awarded the National Medal of Technology, America’s highest recognition for contributions to technology, SRC expands the industry knowledge base and attracts premier students to help innovate and transfer semiconductor technology to the commercial industry. For more information, visit www.src.org.
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