Description of Focus Center Research Program Centers
As noted in the Introduction, there are currently four focus centers under The Focus Center Research Program (FCRP). They are:
The Design and Test Focus Center, commonly referred to as the Gigascale Silicon Research Center (GSRC), was founded in 1998 to explore all the aspects of semiconductor design and test issues. Design and Test refers primarily to the software programs used by the people who create microchips and the people who test them to see if they work. The University of California at Berkeley is the lead campus for this effort. The participating universities in the Design and Test Focus Center are Carnegie Mellon; MIT; Pennsylvania State; Princeton; Purdue; Stanford; University of California at Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz; University of Michigan; UT Austin; and University of Wisconsin–Madison.
The Interconnect Focus Center was founded in 1998 to research all aspects of the wiring that connects the millions of transistors on a microchip—from process to system-level architecture. As the circuits on a semiconductor chip become ever faster, the pacing item increasingly becomes the time required to have each circuit communicate with the other circuits on the chip. The Interconnection Focus Center, led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, is working on novel ways to address this problem, including having the circuits communicate through optical or radio wave connects instead of today’s copper connections. The six participating universities are Georgia Tech; MIT; Stanford; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; SUNY at Albany; and Cornell.
The Materials, Structures, and Devices Focus Center was formed in 2001 to scale the current CMOS process to its ultimate limit using novel transistor
structures, and to explore hybrid chips where silicon CMOS devices are combined with new-frontier devices such as carbon nanotubes, organic semiconductors, or quantum-effect devices. The Focus Center is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The other participating universities are Cornell; Princeton; Purdue; Stanford; SUNY Albany; University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles; UT Austin; and University of Virginia
The Center for Circuits, Systems & Software (C2S2) Focus Center was formed in 2001 to develop a wholly new generation of design techniques to convert semiconductor circuits into ultra-performance electronic products. Tomorrow’s circuits must routinely move billions of bits per second through the air; perform billions of operations per milliwatt; access billions of bits of on-chip storage; and interact with a rich environment of communicating electrical, mechanical, optical, and biological systems. To convert tomorrow’s transistors into this range of required performance requires a revolutionary rethinking of today’s design strategies. The C2S2 Focus Center, led by Carnegie Mellon University, is exploring a variety of approaches to these problems. The other universities in this consortium are Cornell, Columbia, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan, and University of Washington.