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[February 22, 2014]
Masdar tape-out success [Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)]
(Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Masdar Institute of Science and Technology on Thursday announced that it has become one of the few academic institutions worldwide providing cutting-edge semiconductor designs for manufacturing a "tape-out".
The tape-out achievement was made possible through Masdar Institute's design-enablement and fabrication collaboration with Globalfoundries, the world's second largest semiconductor foundry company, wholly-owned by Mubadala's Advanced Technology Investment Company.
Produced on Globalfoundries 28nm SLP low-power, bulk Cmos technology, the semiconductor technology designed by Masdar Institute will allow researchers to collect measurements that will ultimately contribute to reduced semiconductor power consumption and increased speed. Masdar Institute is expected to take delivery of the fabricated chip by the end of March 2014.
Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, president of the Masdar Institute, said: "The successful tape-out by our students has enabled the UAE to enter a new era in advanced semiconductor technology research and innovation. The consistent support of the UAE leadership has strengthened our capabilities to expand our innovative activities. We expect our students to achieve more milestones in the future." Geoffrey Akiki, general manager of Globalfoundries Abu Dhabi, said: "This tape-out shows the unique strength of our partnership with the UAE. In the short period since the start of our cooperation with Masdar Institute, we have achieved another joint success on our way to spur the continued development of Abu Dhabi as an innovation technology hub. Aggressive process scaling poses unique challenges in 28nm technology not found in larger technology nodes, and we are especially impressed by the work of the Masdar Institute researchers in reaching this point." Dr Ibrahim Elfadel, head of Masdar Institute's Centre for Microelectronics, said: "The goal of the chip is to measure the statistical dependence of circuit performance on process variations. The collected measurements will be used to provide integrated-circuit designers and semi-conductor process engineers with guidelines for optimising circuit design and process parameters to achieve specific targets in power consumption and circuit speed." "Such guidelines will be very valuable in the manufacturing of ultra-lower power chips that can be used in a variety of applications, including mobile and implementable medical devices, continuous environmental monitoring and consumer electronics. We are grateful to the Globalfoundries team for providing the Masdar Institute students, staff and faculty with the design environment and technology access that have enabled us to reach this important milestone for the UAE," he added.
Established as an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop critical thinkers and leaders.
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