To ensure there will be an adequate supply of technology workers in the 21st century, and that technology moves forward at a pace that tracks with our relentless pursuit of Moore’s Law, Intel has developed strategic relationships with organizations that have similar goals.
Filling the pipeline with trained individuals, who are capable of thriving in an innovation economy, begins with promoting science, technology, engineering, and math in K-12. It continues at the graduate level and beyond, where the focus intensifies on electrical engineering, computer and materials sciences, and advanced technology research.
To keep the technology moving forward so that as semiconductor process shrinks to 14nm and then to 10nm, and the size of the wafers grow from 300mm to 450mm, Intel collaborates with over 250 standards and industry groups. This helps ensure that the ecosystem to support such technological leaps will be in place.
"SRC supports the university research that establishes the foundation for the industry, and provides the next generation of engineers and scientists. It is through these two actions that SRC helps the industry be competitive around the world."
Former Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation
SRC’s mission and impact
One organization that shares our vision in these areas is the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC).
SRC, the world’s leading technology research consortium, works with member companies and university research programs around the world. SRC-sponsored university research is renowned for the innovations and knowledge breakthroughs that come out of it.
For 30 years, members of SRC programs have invested millions in cutting-edge semiconductor research supporting thousands of elite students and hundreds of faculty members at scores of universities worldwide. SRC graduates have a definite advantage over their peers. The combination of use-inspired research experience and contact with real-world engineering allows them to hit the ground running in industry positions—jobs often obtained through SRC connections and resources.
SRC’s charter promotes advanced research and training
The SRC educates tomorrow’s technology leaders, and advances precompetitive technologies through collaborative research. The funding opportunities range from exclusive arrangements with large multi-university centers to research in both multi-university and single-university settings.
The four research program areas include:
- Global Research Collaboration—working with top universities on the next semiconductor technology breakthrough
- Focus Center Research Program—a multi-university program sponsored by U.S. industry and the federal government to maintain the growth curve of semiconductor technology
- Nanoelectronics Research Initiative—seeks to find a device that can scale computer technology beyond CMOS
- Energy Research Initiative—addresses the need for smart alternative energy
Intel and SRC
Intel has supported SRC since its founding in 1982, serving on the board of directors, working closely with the organization to define research priorities, and providing technologists to mentor students involved in the research. As one of the SRC’s largest contributors, Intel has significant influence on the selection of funded projects.
Intel’s technology manufacturing group collaborates with the SRC and industry partners to provide funding for some 700 faculty and 1500 students who are working on projects related to devices, interconnects, packaging, nanomanufacturing, design, circuits, systems, test, and the “next switch.”
Education Alliance encourages technical careers
Another initiative, the SRC Education Alliance (SRCEA) is a private foundation committed to encouraging a diversity of undergraduate and graduate science and engineering students to pursue careers as innovators and technology leaders.
SRCEA provides students with a unique education consisting of traditional coursework, cutting-edge research, and direct interaction with companies in the semiconductor industry.
By offering financial support, mentoring, and industry-relevant research with SRC-funded faculty who are recognized experts in their fields, SRCEA attracts the brightest students and helps them forge their pathway to becoming technology leaders.
Co-sponsored by the SRCEA and the Intel Foundation, the University Research Opportunities program supports qualified undergraduates interested in physical science and engineering disciplines in advanced research projects, workshops and other resources that encourage and enable them to continue their education.
Connecting with Intel researchers
Intel values researcher-to-researcher connections. Faculty and students interested in working with Intel can check the proceedings of conferences like the International Electron Devices Meeting, the International Conference on VLSI Design, the International Interconnect Technology Conference, or the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference in order to connect with an Intel researcher who is involved in their area of interest.
Recognizing significant contributions
Since a primary goal of the SRCEA is to produce advanced degree students with the capability to work effectively in the semiconductor industry, the organization has created two awards that reward significant contributions.
The Aristotle Award recognizes faculty whose commitment to the education of SRC students has had a profound and continuing impact on their professional performance, and consequently a significant long-term impact for members.
The Technical Excellence Award is a $5,000 award that is shared among key contributors of innovative technology that significantly enhances the productivity/ competitiveness of the semiconductor industry.
Semiconductor Technology Committee
For over ten years, Intel has exclusively funded university research directly through its Semiconductor Technology Committee (STC). The STC helps identify and fill Intel research gaps in material, device or process related areas. Starting in 2011, much of Intel’s STC sponsored research has been integrated into SRC’s new Member Specific Research (MSR) program. Unlike other SRC research, MSR research is exclusively selected and funded by Intel. Nearly all of the research results of both the SRC and STC research are eventually published.
Intel’s sponsorship of the STC is currently funding about 100 faculty and 200 students for advanced research through several different Strategic Research Sectors. These Strategic Research Sectors include lithography, packaging, modeling and metrology, materials, high volume manufacturing, reliability/interconnect/back-end process, Ireland, emerging research devices, nanotechnology, memory, microsystems, and optoelectronics.
To recognize outstanding contributions by researchers funded by the STC, Intel began honoring outstanding researchers in 2012.
Strategic research relationships
Intel also partners with other organizations that share our passion in training students to become the next generation of leaders in technology.
The Center for Integrated Systems (CIS) is one such partnership. Stanford University works with Intel and other firms to produce world-class research and PhD graduates in fields related to integrated systems. CIS research, PhD fellowships, and information-exchange programs draw on unique University and industry strengths to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of both sectors.
Another example is the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) at MIT, a laboratory supporting research and education in micro- and nano-systems with an intellectual core of:
- Semiconductor Process and Device Technology
- Integrated Circuits and Systems Design
- New Initiatives in Microsystems
- Microsystems Infrastructure
Imec, a world leader in nanoelectronics research, is yet another example of a close technology relationship. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its partnerships in ICT, healthcare, and energy. Headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, Imec has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, U.S., China, India, and Japan. Its staff of close to 2,000 people includes more than 600 industrial residents and guest researchers and nearly 200 PhD students.