South Korean Group Plans
Research Facility at UT Dallas

Semiconductor Consortium Will Invest Up to $8M in Center;
UT Dallas One of Only Three Universities Selected for Project

April 26, 2007

The University of Texas at Dallas has signed a memorandum of understanding that calls for a South Korean consortium to invest up to $8 million in the next four years to establish and fund a semiconductor research center at the university’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Once fully operational, the research facility is expected to explore nano-electronics, nano-bio-info-fusion technology (a synthesis of the biological, physical and information sciences) and other next-generation advances intended to enable semiconductors to continue their decades-old march toward ever smaller, faster and more energy-efficient designs.

The memorandum of understanding is the largest of three that Seoul’s Consortium of Semiconductor Advanced Research (COSAR) signed with United States universities this month.  Similar agreements were announced with Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Each institution will be responsible for exploring one facet of future semiconductor technology: Stanford will examine manufacturing processes, Berkeley will look at chip design and UT Dallas will delve into new materials and equipment for future-generation chips.

“We’re confident this project could lead to developments that revolutionize the semiconductor industry,” said Dr. Bob Helms, dean of the Jonsson School.  “We’re looking forward to working closely with our collaborators at Stanford and Berkeley.”

The semiconductor materials expertise and facilities that enabled the Jonsson School to land the award “have only coalesced at the school in the past three years,” added Moon Kim, a professor of electrical engineering and director of the Nano-Characterization Facility at UT Dallas.  He and Jiyoung Kim, an associate professor of electrical engineering in the Jonsson School, played the central role of working with their South Korean counterparts to bring about the overall project.  Moon Kim will serve as coordinator of the semiconductor research center.

In addition to research, the initial agreement calls for UT Dallas to form a strategic alliance of organizations focused on commercializing advances that develop as a result of the research.  As UT Dallas scientists and COSAR begin working closely in the months ahead, the Metroplex Technology Business Council also is expected to play a part in encouraging South Korean semiconductor companies to open offices in North Texas.

Moon Kim expects to see a final agreement in place soon, and he intends for the project to get underway July 1.

About UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,500 students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.


Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, 972-883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu.

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Participating in the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the semiconductor research center at UT Dallas were, from left, Dr. Bob Helms, dean of the universityís Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science; Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, executive vice president and provost at UT Dallas; Nam-Jeung Kim, director of South Koreaís Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy; and Hyeong Joon Kim, director of Seoulís Consortium of Semiconductor Advanced Research.

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