State of Texas, SRC, TI, UT System and UT Dallas launch world-class analog design research center
Governor Rick Perry recently announced a $16 million collaboration among academia, industry and government that will create the Texas Analog Center of Excellence, TxACE, at the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas).
The research center will help create leading-edge analog technology for both traditional electronics and emerging applications. It is a collaborative effort by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the State of Texas, TI, the University of Texas system and UT Dallas.
Based at UT Dallas, the center will focus on research in analog and radio frequency (RF) technologies to help address some of the world’s biggest challenges in areas such as energy efficiency, health care and public safety. The results should enable mixed-signal integrated circuits for state-of-art applications in a wide range of wired and wireless electronics, benefiting markets and people worldwide.
"Through continued investment from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund and collaborative efforts from private sector partners and universities, we are building an unrivaled portfolio of research in the most crucial areas of electronics," said Gov. Perry. "Research centers like TxACE are essential to strengthen growing industries and ensure that Texas maintains a competitive edge in a global economy."
TI is providing $1.5 million in endowments to UT Dallas, funding an analog design professor who will be the TxACE director and a graduate student fellowship for analog design research. In addition, TI has committed $2.7 million for TxACE research projects over three years.
"Analog design research is highly complex and the need for this skill set is growing worldwide," said Gregg Lowe, senior vice president for TI’s Analog business unit. "Applications in areas like health care and energy efficiency depend on the new analog circuits this research is focusing on. The ability of TI and the state to connect so much talent and funding bodes well for this region as a global technology center and will ultimately put inventive new analog chips in the hands of electronics engineers to help solve pressing issues facing society today."
The SRC is providing an additional $1.2 million a year for three years. UT Dallas and the UT system are providing more than $3.7 million in matching funds over the next three years. These funds are being matched by the State of Texas Emerging Technology Fund, with $4.5 million over three years.
"Analog technology is critically important for connecting digital electronics with the real world," said Dr. David Yeh, SRC’s director for Integrated Circuits and Systems Research, on assignment from TI. "Ironically, as almost every electronic device increasingly relies on digital technology advances for improved performance and cost, the need for advances in analog technology is also increasing."
Recent growth in global semiconductor sales reflects a continual increase in demand for electronics enabled by analog and mixed-signal chips. Examples include wired and wireless communications where weak digital signals are recovered by special analog circuits, medical electronics that gather sensor inputs for patient monitoring, and a broad range of other consumer applications where a human interface and energy efficiency are critical.
Besides greatly accelerating analog research developments at UT Dallas, the center’s faculty researchers will also expand the analog curriculum at the university’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
The first research results from the center are expected to be ready for use in devices within five to eight years.