Semiconductor innovations key to U.S. economic growth

(Nanowerk News) The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today announced that Dr. Jeff Welser testified at a hearing on the future of nanotechnology research and the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) on behalf of the SIA, the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) today in the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology's Subcommittee on Research and Science Education.
NRI is an industry-driven consortium that funds a coordinated program of university research in partnership with Federal and State government agencies. The NRI focuses on the key challenge for continuing progress in semiconductor electronics; finding a new nanoelectronic device—the next "switch"—that can extend beyond the current technology limits and keep the United States at the forefront of the nanoelectronics revolution. This cutting edge area of research is a priority for the economy, for high paying jobs and for the nation's ability to innovate and compete in the future. The nation that is first to discover and develop key nanotechnologies will lead the next technology era, much like the United States has led the microelectronics era for the past half century.
"There is no doubt that our country must work to bring our deficits down and our Congressional leaders are taking on that difficult task in the 2012 budget debates. We applaud them and support their efforts," said Brian Toohey, president, Semiconductor Industry Association. "Within that debate we are bringing forth our best ideas, generous resources and most brilliant minds to help our Nation tackle the deficit by growing the economy and fostering the next era of technology leadership, which we believe will be in nanoelectronics."
Semiconductor technology is ubiquitous in modern life, from computers and smart phones to medical devices and LED lights. It is also economically vital to the Nation. In 2010, U.S. semiconductor companies generated $144 billion in sales—representing nearly half the worldwide market, and making it the Nation's largest export. However, the current technology is reaching physical limits, which is why the industry formed NRI.
NRI is one of several consortia within SRC, each of which brings together diverse industry members and government sponsors to fund university research driven by long-term needs. NRI not only funds university research, it coordinates among the universities and between industry and academia, avoiding duplication and encouraging collaboration.
"NRI is a proven model based on SRC's 30 years of experience for funding this type of research. It leverages modest resources from the government, couples them with industry funding and university support, and sustains research that is absolutely critical to our Nation's economic prosperity," said Dr. Jeff Welser, director, Nanoelectronics Research Initiative.
About the SIA
The Semiconductor Industry Association, SIA, is the voice of the U.S. semiconductor industry, America's number-one export industry over the last five years and a bellwether measurement of the US economy. Semiconductor innovations form the foundation for America's $1.1 trillion dollar technology industry affecting a U.S. workforce of nearly 6 million. Founded in 1977 by five microelectronics pioneers, SIA unites over 60 companies that account for 80 percent of the semiconductor production of this country. Through this coalition SIA seeks to strengthen US leadership of semiconductor design and manufacturing by working with Congress, the Administration and other key industry groups. The SIA works to encourage policies and regulations that fuel innovation, propel business and drive international competition in order to maintain a thriving semiconductor industry in the United States. Learn more at
The Nanoelectronics Research Initiative is one of three research program entities of SRC. Celebrating 28 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
Source: Semiconductor Industry Association