Sunday, July 25, 2004

Cut NSF, but grow nano

The House Appropriations Committee apparently wants to see some cuts at the National Science Foundation (NSF) for 2005. Nanotechnology, however, appears to be one small exception. Judging from this quote provided by, "nanotechnology" in this instance means the semiconductor industry.

    Regarding nanotechnology, the report states, "the Committee remains concerned that researchers are reaching the physical limits of current complementary metal oxide semiconductor process technology and that this will have significant implications for continued productivity growth in the information economy." After commending NSF's activities, the report "encourages NSF to consider increasing research support, where feasible, through this program." More here

The House committee is likely reacting to a request from the Semiconductor Industry Association. In 15 years, the association predicts, it'll be like Midtown Manhattan subways during rush hour on every chip. You just can't pack them in there any tighter. Top down is dying. Bottom-up is on the ascent – whether it's through self-assembly or atomically precise positioning.

So, the group is asking the U.S. government to chip in more money and it's proposing a research institute that will discover what comes next. The goal? Creating an entirely new industry, with new switches, interconnects, materials, memory and manufacturing methods by 2020.

Related News
Chipmakers' Problems Are Speeding Up (BusinessWeek)

    Longer term, chip companies are looking at all sorts of exotic solutions, including more use of nanotechnology. Within the next decade, engineers envision using tiny carbon nanotubes as a partial replacement for silicon to cut down on chip overheating. Further out, scientists anticipate being able to make tiny transistors with single-atom switches, requiring infinitesimal amounts of energy to run. More here
Samsung Expands Texas Semiconductor Lines (The Korea Times)
    The enlargement represents the second-phase implementation of Samsung's three-year plan to invest $500 million in SAS to make the fabrication plant a world-class facility armed with so-called nano-technology. More here
Nano-Imprinting Promises Even Smaller Electronics (Science a GoGo)
    In a discovery that could lead to dramatically smaller computer chips and other electronic components, Princeton scientists have found a way to mass produce devices that are so small they are at the limit of what can be viewed by the most powerful microscopes. More here
NanoBot Backgrounder
Thanks for the nanomemories, Intel
Welcome to our Nano Nightmare
What Would Roger Own? Not Nano
Swatting Millipedes
Abstract Cart

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