Wednesday, May 1, 2013

SRC, NSF intro compact modeling initiative for nanotechnology era

USA: Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC) recently joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a partner in an ongoing NSF project to further develop compact models of emerging nanoelectronic devices such as might be used in next-generation consumer electronics.

The project focuses on nano-engineered electronic device simulation (NEEDS). NEEDS is a node of a larger National Nanotechnology Initiative project called the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN). NCN offers researchers tools to explore nanoscale phenomena through theory, modeling and simulation, while also developing enhancements to science and engineering education.

The existing $3.5 million award from NSF, now bolstered by joint support from NSF and SRC of $2.5 million, supports a five-year program that is the largest of its kind dedicated to realizing the promise of nanoscience in innovative circuits and systems applications.

By enabling the simulation of circuits and systems, compact models connect nanomaterials and devices to potential circuit applications that are simulated with SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis). NEEDS is charged with creating a complete compact model development environment (NEEDS-SPICE) that supports the creation of high-quality models and provides industrial and academic designers with robust models that run in both commercial and open source SPICE-compatible simulation platforms.

NEEDS will support this platform with a set of best practices and processes and a suite of research and educational resources. During the course of this work, NEEDS will produce an open source platform, open source compact models and open content educational resources, which will be available on

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