Texas Instruments Bolsters Semiconductor Research
Gift to UT Dallas Will Support Several Facets of High-Tech Development
Oct. 19, 2009
Semiconductor research at UT Dallas has received a $2 million boost thanks to a gift of nearly $1.15 million from Texas Instruments Inc. that’s expected to qualify for more than $850,000 in state matching funds.
“It is very gratifying to have Texas Instruments support our efforts to further advance the field that TI virtually created,” said Mark W. Spong, dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas and holder of the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering. “We are deeply appreciative of this gift, and I think TI’s confidence in us says a great deal about the caliber of faculty we have assembled and the momentum we have established toward joining the ranks of the nation’s top research universities.”
The gift’s timing was motivated in part by the availability of matching funds through the recently enacted Texas Research Incentive Program, or TRIP, which was one provision in House Bill 51 passed by the 81st Texas Legislature to create more national public research universities in Texas.
“Having strong research universities in close proximity to TI will bring economic advantages to our company as well as to the region and state,” said Allen Bowling, manager of research in TI’s Analog Technology Development group. “University research leads to start-up companies and venture capital activity, and new companies that are created hire university students and do business with established companies. For TI, this is an investment in growth.”
Nearly half of the gift will go to further bolstering the Texas Analog Center of Excellence, or TxACE, a $16 million collaboration among academia, industry and government that was created last year and is housed in the Jonsson School. Another $200,000 is will go to support an established endowed chair in the center.
An additional $200,000 will support silicon nanowire research taking place under the direction of Eric Vogel, an associate professor of materials science and engineering.
“We are studying and developing chemical and biological sensors made using nanoscale silicon devices,” Dr. Vogel said. “The small nature of the devices makes their electrical properties extremely sensitive to chemicals and biological molecules.”
Graduate students will also benefit from the gift, which includes $150,000 to establish two new fellowship programs at the Jonsson School. Biomedical electronics, an area of particular interest to TI in recent years, will also receive funding, as will algorithm development in the school’s Signal and Image Processing Lab and a project concerning in-vehicle systems focused on motor vehicle dynamics.
Semiconductor work has long been a major part of research activities at the Jonsson School, and the wide range of such research under way today at the school includes semiconductor design, semiconductor applications in wireless communications, semiconductor materials and surfaces, organic electronics, ultra-low-power technology, photonic integrated circuits and analog technology.