eiXtra: published by NEMA Hot Topics
On the Hill/Around the Nation
International News
Monday, June 14, 2010
feature story
Glasgow Key Player in $26M European Project to Develop Next Generation Nanotransistor Chips

The University of Glasgow is playing a key role in a $26M (£23m) European project called MODERN, looking at how to design next generation computer chips using variable and unreliable nanotransistors.

Transistors are the tiny on-off switches that are the building blocks of all electronic circuits and computer chips and they have been steadily decreasing in size for the past 50 years. However, the smaller transistors become, the more atomic-scale variations in their size and structure affect their performance and thus the reliability of a whole circuit. This increased variability is a problem that presents a huge barrier to the continued scaling of microchips and the development of ever-more powerful computers, and electronic systems.

The focus of MODERN (MOdeling and DEsign of Reliable, process variation-aware Nanoelectronic devices, circuits and systems) is to develop new design tools and methodology for transistors and circuits at the nanoscale that will enable the manufacturing of reliable, low cost, low electromagnetic interference, high-yield complex silicon chips and corresponding products using unreliable, and variable devices.

Currently, the lead semiconductor manufacturer is producing microchips with transistors less than 30 nanometers in size—by comparison, a human hair is around 100,000 nanometers wide—but future transistors will have to be even smaller if computers are to continue to increase in power. Professor Asen Asenov, a device modelling expert in Electronics and Electrical Engineering and a world authority in statistical complementary metal-oxide semiconductor variability, is leading Glasgow’s involvement in the project, which is worth $1.5m to the university, and comprises 28 European partners.  

The MODERN team was assembled in response to a funding call by the European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council (ENIAC). Support for Glasgow’s involvement was made possible thanks to a special funding package from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC) and Scottish Enterprise.

In the MODERN consortium, the University of Glasgow is providing expertise in the physical simulation of statistical variability and reliability, statistical compact model extraction, and statistical circuit simulation. The simulations will be conducted using edge variability simulation tools developed in the Glasgow Device Modelling Group over the last 10 years and will involve a recently established spin-out company called Gold Standard Simulation, which will be providing services to the MODERN project.

Professor Asenov said, "We invested heavily in variability research and in the development of variability simulation tools at a time when the industry was not fully aware of the gravity of the forthcoming variability problem. Now we are in the position to make significant contribution in tackling the variability challenge."

David Jack, project manager at Scottish Enterprise, said, "This project will reinforce the University of Glasgow's position at the forefront of technology which will be built into many new electronic products. The formation of spin-out company, Gold Standard Simulations Ltd, demonstrates that Scotland's growing businesses have a strong opportunity to lead the electronics industry of the future."

EPSRC Chief Executive Dave Delpy, said, "Working with Scottish Enterprise, we are delighted to have enabled the UK to participate in this ambitious and potentially high impact project. This collaboration is an excellent example of the union of world leading research and a delivery partner that can provide powerful economic impact, and accelerates our path to prosperity."

We thank you for your cooperation in improving the quality of our materials.
Please contact Bill Green
at Communications@nema.org if you have any questions or suggestions related to eiXtra.

Hot Topics

Energy Saving A/C Conquers All Climates
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has invented a new air conditioning process with the potential of using 50 percent to 90 percent less energy than today's top-of-the-line units. It uses membranes, evaporative cooling, and liquid desiccants in a way that has never been done before in the centuries-old science of removing heat from the air.

Putting the Forklift before the Horseless Carriage
Forklifts hoist, stack, and stow a big chunk of the nation's goods, and have been doing so for 90 years, powered by gasoline and electricity. Hydrogen fuel cells are much newer, yet already proving themselves in early markets, with the goal of one day providing clean, safe renewable energy to the nation's and the world's transportation fleet.

[ top ]
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

On the Hill/Around the Nation

Senate Fails to Disapprove EPA’s Endangerment Finding
On June 10, 2010, the U.S. Senate fell 4 votes short to pass a bipartisan resolution (SJ Res. 26) disapproving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called "endangerment finding". The vote was 47-53. If enacted, the resolution, sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), would have stopped EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act and preserved congressional authority to address climate change issues through comprehensive legislation. Prior to Senate voting, the Obama Administration had threatened to veto the measure.

Energy Legislation
As Congress returned from its Memorial Day recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked the eight Senate committees working on energy-related legislation to complete their work by July 4, potentially putting in play energy legislation during July. NEMA provisions related to new energy-efficiency standards, building codes, transmission corridor siting, high performance buildings, Smart Grid / energy storage, energy tax incentives, and advanced energy research are contained in a number of bills now before the Senate. The Gulf oil spill has brought a renewed focus on energy independence, energy efficiency and alternative energy, and national security. NEMA is leading the effort to promote the deployment of energy-efficient products and technologies.

[ top ]
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

International News

Get "Smart" with the Green ICT & Energy Efficiency Trade Mission
Event: Executive-led Trade Mission to Mexico City
Location: Mexico City; WTC
Dates: September 27—29, 2010
Apply by: August 2, 2010
The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, and U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service are organizing an Executive Green ICT & Energy Efficiency Trade Mission to Mexico City from September 27—29, 2010. This executive-led mission will focus on assisting U.S. providers of "Green Information & Communication Technology" (ICT) solutions, as well as energy-efficiency technologies, to enter or increase their presence in various sectors of the Mexican market. This will include data centers, telecommunications, utilities, and construction. Green ICTs—or smart technologies—provide monitoring, supervision, and automation capabilities to reach energy efficiency in the mentioned industries, such as smart grids and smart buildings.

Hot Market Watch: Selling to Brazil, China, and India
Event: 5th Annual International Trade Conference
When: Tuesday, October 19, 2010, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Duke Energy Center, Cincinnati, OH  45202
This conference will provide market updates, tools, and resources for companies interested in selling to or expanding further into Brazil, China, and India. Presenters will include U.S. Department of Commerce experts as well as international companies and organizations sharing their expertise and resources for these markets.  Selected topics for each country will include: market overviews; customs and logistics; financial considerations; legal considerations; taxation/accounting; regulations; business customs; and company experiences.

[ top ]
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

NEMAcastNEMA podcast for the electroindustry.

NEMAcast focuses on news, information, and opportunities in the electroindustry. Listen online at podcast.nema.org. NEMAcast has several channels, each with a special focus on different parts of the electroindustry.


Industry News


Mergers & Acquisitions


  • Management Changes in Osram's LED Business in North America
    Osram has made two changes to the company’s North American management. Effective June 1, 2010, Tom Shottes will take responsibility for the new Professional Lighting Solid State Lighting and Light Management System groups as senior vice president. 06/07/10

[ Industry News Archives ]


Standardizations Trends

  • NEMA Publishes ICS 10-2010, Part 3
    NEMA has published ICS 10-2010, Part 3 Safety Bulletin: NEMA Safety Considerations for Residential Transfer Equipment and Residential Transfer Switches. 06/08/10

[ NEMA News Archives ]

[ top ]

Upcoming Events:

Eicareers.org: The Electroindustry Career Portal - powered by NEMA
Job Title Company Name
Senior Sales Representative Osram Sylvania
Maintenance Manager The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc.
Click here to view ALL job Listings

Sponsored by
UL University’s PV System Installer Certification Program

Looking to Become a Certified Photovoltaic (PV) System Installer?
UL University’s newly developed PV System Installer certification program aims to improve the safety and performance of PV systems through a more qualified workforce of licensed electricians.

If you are looking to become a Certified PV System Installer, this Personnel Certification program is designed to offer you an opportunity to set yourself apart with a credential focused on the critical knowledge and skills needed to install PV systems.

Contact UL University at 1.888.503.5536, email ULUniversity@us.ul.com or visit www.uluniversity.us/certification for training and certification exam dates, locations, pricing and to register.

To view this email on the web, go to http://www.nema.org/media/eiextra/briefs/20100614eiXtra.htm

Event Calendar
June 2010
  1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

NEMA's 84th Annual Meeting: Illuminations Weekend, The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL - Nov 5-6, 2010

NEMA's ESPG 2009-2010

CSA Advertisement

IHS Advertisement

Subscribe to NEMAcast

NEMACurrents Blog

NEMA on YouTube.

2010 National Electrical Manufacturers Association. eiXtra is a biweekly e-newsletter for electroindustry professionals summarizing key manufacturer, standardization, and regulatory news. NEMA does not sell or release subscriber's personal information and will never willfully disclose individually identifiable information to any third party without first receiving your permission. Privacy policy.
Follow NEMA: Blog BlogPodcasts PodcastsTwitter TwitterYouTube YouTubeLinkedIn LinkedIn
Printer-friendly version | Unsubscribe