Purdue University is set to establish a new nanoelectronics and computing institute for the development of technology for NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the US Department of Defence. Another 6 US universities will also participate in the project under the title of University Research, Engineering and Technology Institutes (URETI), for which Purdue will be the leader.
One of the focus areas of the project will be to develop more autonomous spacecraft which require sophisticated compact computers, while there will be other benefits for industry.
Other related areas that the institute will be working on will be new technologies for computing and telecommunications. Existing silicon transistor technology has a finite limit, limiting the amount that these devices can be miniaturised. Nanotechnology, possibly involving organic or biological molecules is an area that will be looked at for providing the next generation of semiconductors.
The Institute will be built at Purdue’s new Discovery Park, a 40 acre site at their West Lafayette, Indiana campus. Also housed at the Discovery Park will be the Birck Nanotechnology Center, scheduled for completion in 2005.
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