*** UPDATE 1.10.2010 ***
Intel's agreement with the Tyndall National Institute gives it access to junctionless transistor technology.
The Tyndall National Institute has got in touch with bit-tech to correct a rather serious misunderstanding that arose when we reported the $1.5 million deal between the Insitute and Intel, during which we claimed that it offered Intel exclusive exploitation rights to Tyndall's innovative junctionless transistor technology.
The full version of the updated story can be found here
*** END UPDATE ***
Intel has signed a deal with the Tyndall National Institute at the University of Cork that will help the company implement junctionless transistors in its chips.
The junctionless transistor tech, which was developed at Tyndall University by a team of researchers led by Professor Jean-Pierre Colinge, could be implemented by Intel once it reaches the 20nm manufacturing process. It will provide the company with a significant technical advantage over its rivals and simplify the production of small-process, high-speed processors.
The agreement will also see the pair working on next-generation materials for use in processor manufacturing, new and innovative discrete devices, and Intel's favourite topic of the day, photonics - with Tyndall's researchers helping to develop on-chip optical interconnects; Intel believes this is the key to unlocking the power of future high-speed chips once electrical interconnects start to become tricky at smaller process sizes.
Intel's director of components research, Mike Mayberry, sees the deal, which gives Intel exclusive rights to the commercial exploitation of Tyndall's research in exchange for a $1.5 million investment over a three-year period, told press that "we at Intel are excited to enter into this advanced research agreement with Tyndall and look forward to a productive collaboration with the team here.
Tyndall's chief executive officer, Professor Whatmore, said that he believes "this collaborative research program with Intel provides direct industry and market guidance to our research programs, helping to ensure that what we deliver is manufacturable, relevant and of benefit to society
", while enabling the university to "advance our technologies to the marketplace much more rapidly than we could possibly do on our own.
It isn't the first time that Intel and Tyndall have worked together, but the new deal marks the biggest agreement so far. It's also only the second such agreement that has taken place between Intel and an independent research house in Europe, the first being with the IMEC Research Institute in Belgium.
Is Intel's agreement a good thing for the industry, or would you have liked to see one of the smaller players get this deal to boost their R&D? Share your thoughts over in the forums