SANTA CLARA, CA -- Intel Corporation today announced its researchers have developed a new semiconductor packaging technology that will help the company build processors with more than 1 billion transistors that will be 10 times faster than the fastest processors today. The technology, called "Bumpless Build-Up Layer" or BBUL packaging, takes a completely different approach to packaging from the current practice of manufacturing the processor die separately and later bonding it to the package. Instead, BBUL "grows" the package around the silicon, resulting in thinner, higher-performance processors that consume less power.

A £3.5 million supercomputing hub is set to power growth and innovation in the Midlands and London by opening up its vast number-crunching power to local firms.

The University of Warwick is leading a group of four top universities to launch MidPlus, a state-of-the–art high-performance computing centre, to help SMEs and larger firms with the modelling, simulation and analysis needed to design world-leading products and services.

MidPlus will provide extra computing capacity to sectors such as aerospace, automotive, biomedical and advanced materials as well as delivering supercomputing skills to the local workforce.

The investment consists of £2 million from the research funding agency EPSRC and £1.5 million from the four partners – University of Warwick, University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham and Queen Mary, University of London.

The move is linked to a Government drive to increase the UK’s capacity to exploit high-performance computing in optimising process design – a key requirement to boost industries such as advanced manufacturing, scientific research and financial services.

The new centre’s facilities will be available to businesses along the M1/M6 corridor in the East and West Midlands and London.

As well as offering significantly increased capacity to local firms, Midplus will also deliver consultancy and training services which tap into the universities’ combined expertise in high-performance computing.

Director of Midplus Professor Mark Rodger said: “The ability to simulate complex processes and interrogate large datasets is the hidden motor behind much of the UK’s industrial base.

“In the Midlands and London, key industries such as aerospace, automotive and advanced materials rely on high-level supercomputing power to develop new products.

“The large set-up cost to exploit high-performance computing, both in terms of equipment and expertise, can be a major barrier to SMEs expanding into newer or bigger markets so MidPlus will make it easier for them to step up into the next league.

“It is vital that the UK maintains its investment in e-infrastructure in order to compete on a global scale - that’s why Midplus is set to provide such a far-reaching boost to established and emerging industries in the Midlands and London.”

MidPlus will significantly extend the current computing power available within the region’s universities.

The University of Warwick will increase its current capacity to give a 6,000 core cluster by the summer with very rapid communication between the cores, which will allow it to deal with very large, realistic simulations quickly and efficiently.

The upgrade to its existing server and storage cluster was provided by OCF, the high performance data processing, data management and data storage integrator.

This capability is needed to increase resolution in engineering process design and fluid dynamics models, to improve the realism of pharmaceutical modelling and to allow greater complexity in analysing and predicting the properties of advanced materials.

A high-throughput 2,900-core cluster at Queen Mary is designed to provide significant capacity for tasks that involve running large numbers of simulations with different parameters or data sets.

These will be particularly useful for SMEs that need to consider many different scenarios to identify optimal design, process or market conditions.

A very large file store and data archive is being established at Birmingham and Nottingham, mirrored between the two sites to maintain the safety and integrity of the data.

This file store will enable research data bases generated at the partner universities to be made accessible to SMEs and established industries, and will also provide a commercially-secure route for such industries to store—or commercialise—their own in-house databases.

The multistate Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) includes the Indiana-based Design, Modeling & Simulation Enabling Technology Center, which is led by R. Byron Pipes, the John Leighton Bray Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Purdue, along with a consortium of university researchers, manufacturers, national laboratories, and state and local government agencies. Team leaders at Purdue, from left, are Wenbin Yu, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics; Pipes; Johnathan Goodsell, visiting assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics; and Ronald Steuterman, the center’s managing director. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood)

Federal commitment of $70 million added to $189 million pledged by industry, state economic development agencies, universities for composite-materials effort

Purdue University is part of a deep and diverse team selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to lead a $259 million initiative to develop the next generation of energy-efficient vehicles and wind energy and compressed-gas storage technologies.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) will direct the five-year effort with a $70 million federal commitment from the DOE as part of President Obama's National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), the White House announced Friday (Jan. 9). The University of Tennessee in Knoxville is the lead institution for IACMI.

Economic development agencies from Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Colorado have pledged more than $60 million for IACMI's efforts. That is combined with $25 million from 122 major manufacturers and other organizations in those states, nearly $8 million from universities and national research laboratories, and in-kind support from those groups valued at more than $90 million.

"The advanced composite market is poised for dramatic growth," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. "This important public-private partnership has a strong research, development and deployment mission, establishing a major sector of our manufacturing economy focused on advancing the use of composite materials such as carbon fiber to make lighter-weight cars, wind turbines, natural gas storage tanks and other products.

"The funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy and an impressive lineup of research universities, major U.S. manufacturers and industry players, and six state economic development agencies will help spark a dramatic reduction in our reliance on fossil fuels while also creating quality jobs, companies and industries as a part of this economic revolution."

Used in everything from skateboards and airplanes to components on the space shuttle, advanced composite materials have broad, proven applications because of their lightweight properties and unusually high stiffness while also remaining elastic.

"Composite materials are revolutionizing the manufacturing sector, especially in Indiana," said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith. "As the national leader in manufacturing job growth last year, Hoosiers were already well-positioned to take the lead in advancing this technology. With this added bolt of support, composite material technology will help lift the future of advanced manufacturing in Indiana in partnership with our universities, national labs and neighboring states. Automobiles, campers, household products and even space vehicles are stronger with composite-material technology, as is our Indiana economy and Hoosier job creation."

The multistate initiative includes a Purdue research team led by R. Byron Pipes, the John Leighton Bray Distinguished Professor of Engineering, along with a consortium of university researchers, manufacturers, national laboratories, and state and local government agencies. Five major research centers will be launched, located primarily in Midwestern states where nearly 70 percent of U.S. auto production and over 700 composite companies currently reside:

* Purdue will develop and launch the Composites Virtual Factory HUB (cvfHUB) to deploy and integrate simulation tools that capture the manufacturing phenomena under development in the other IACMI centers of excellence. The Indiana center will develop streams of valued-added products that can be manufactured from fibers and "prepreg" materials reclaimed from the factory floor. In partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Purdue will develop simulation of composites additive manufacturing, stand up additive manufacturing facilities, and examine fundamental science and engineering of additive manufacturing. Indiana is providing $15 million in new funds to support this portion of the initiative.

* The Vehicles Application Center, which is organized around core partner Michigan State University. Manufacturing support is from the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), with computer modeling and simulation support from Purdue. The University of Michigan, Michigan Tech and Interlaken are supporting partners. The state of Michigan is contributing $15 million.

* The Materials and Processing Enabling Technology Center, which includes leading partners Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Tennessee and University of Kentucky, with support from Vanderbilt University. The state of Tennessee is contributing $15 million and Kentucky is pledging $1 million to the effort.

* The Compressed Gas Storage Application Center, which is led by the University of Dayton Research Institute. The center includes supporting partners from the National Composites Center, Ohio State University, Polymer Ohio, Sinclair Community College and Fives, an industrial engineering group. The state of Ohio is contributing $10 million to the effort.

* The Wind Turbine Application Center, which is led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado and includes supporting partner institutions Colorado School of Mines, Colorado University-Boulder, Colorado State University and Iowa State University. The state of Colorado is providing $7 million in new funds for this effort.

"With a blend of state-of-the-art resources across academia, national labs and industry, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation can drive a new strategic mission for national competitiveness in advanced composite materials and manufacturing," said Pipes, who will serve as a member of the IACMI board of the directors and chairman of its Technology Advisory Committee.

IACMI also will help advance technical education and workforce development by bringing together community colleges and universities, state economic development agencies, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to train a skilled manufacturing workforce for supporting the anticipated growth in advanced composites across the country, Pipes said.

The Purdue-led Design, Modeling & Simulation Enabling Technology Center will offer modeling and simulation tools to help address the need to shorten the development cycle and decrease the cost of composites manufacturing while allowing more time for innovation throughout the entire supply chain, Pipes said.

These advanced simulation tools will be available to IACMI partners through the Composites Virtual Factory HUB, or cvfHUB, built on Purdue's HUB-based computer platform developed through Discovery Park over the past decade with an investment of more than $30 million.

The cvfHUB will support manufacturers by sharing and integrating commercial design and simulation software with the supply chain to simulate the performance of complex composite manufacturing. Oak Ridge National Laboratory will provide supercomputer access to IACMI teams for large simulations to be run on cvfHUB, Pipes said.

Initially, IACMI will focus on three composite manufacturing technologies designed to address the issues of speed, cost and energy. To the extent possible, the effort will work exclusively with U.S. equipment manufacturers to help them advance their products to compete globally, Pipes said. The technologies are:

* Compression Molding of Continuous Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Plastics (CFRP).

* High-Pressure Resin Transfer Molding (HP-RTM).

* Insert/Overmold Injection Molding (IOIM).

Lighter-weight vehicles will save fuel.

DOE research shows that a 10 percent drop in vehicle mass can yield a 6-8 percent reduction in fuel consumption. Using highly engineered carbon fiber composites can yield mass reductions of 60-70 percent in optimized vehicle structures. Wind turbines also will operate more efficiently at a lower-cost to displace non-renewable energy sources. And compressed gas tanks will allow economic use of natural gas and, ultimately, hydrogen as fuels with lower environmental impact than petroleum-derived fuels.

Over the next 10 years, the IACMI estimates, more than 30,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs could be created in the fiber-reinforced polymer industry. During that same period, up to $3 billion worth of cumulative private capital investment also is expected for boosting production capacity for the carbon fiber and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer sectors.

President Obama has indicated the NNMI will consist of regional hubs focused on accelerating development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for making new, globally competitive products. Over the last two years, he has acted to jumpstart the network by launching four innovation hubs and initiating the establishment of four more. 

AMAX has announced the grand opening of its European manufacturing facility at Western Business Park in Shannon, Ireland. The AMAX Ireland location will serve as the European manufacturing facility for AMAX’s x86-based server and rack solutions as well as a logistics hub, joining AMAX’s headquarters in Fremont, CA in the U.S. as well as its multiple China facilities to create a comprehensive global footprint. The facility will provide a hundred jobs over the next five years in production, warehousing, finance and sales in the local community. The development is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.

The purpose of the AMAX Ireland facility is to better serve AMAX’s European and global enterprise customer base with local manufacturing to produce expedited production and logistics turnaround. The facility was designed to parallel AMAX’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and production lines in its Silicon Valley headquarters, and will feature the same level of industry-leading engineering and automation, as well as the same comprehensive test processes to achieve the highest standard of quality. Along with manufacturing AMAX’s award-winning cloud, big data, supercomputing and full-service integration of on-premise server appliance solutions, the opening of AMAX Ireland will bring the manufacturing OCP (Open Compute) platforms to EMEA, allowing European enterprises to take advantage of the revolutionary data center technology utilized by Facebook to achieve the ultimate in operational efficiency and business agility.  

“The Ireland facility significantly expands our ability, capacity and network throughout the EMEA region to meet the demands of our customers,” said Jean Shih, President, AMAX. “With the opening of this new site combined with our existing offices and facilities worldwide, we demonstrate how AMAX is actively expanding its capacity and services to support its businesses and customers around the globe.”

Minister for Business & Employment, Ged Nash TD, said, “Today’s announcement by AMAX is fantastic news for Shannon and the greater Limerick and Clare areas. This new facility will bring a very welcome jobs boost to the region and is a real vote of confidence in the Shannon area and the calibre of the workforce available here. AMAX’s decision to base their European manufacturing facility in Shannon shows the potential for Ireland to attract high quality manufacturing to the regions.”

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland also welcomed the announcement, saying: “It is great news that a global company of the calibre of AMAX has decided to locate its European manufacturing facility in Shannon, especially as it is their first European manufacturing facility and is creating a hundred jobs. There is huge growth potential in the whole ICT sector with demand from multiple industry spheres for cloud, big data applications and high performance computing. I see a bright future for this company here in Shannon.”

AMAX’s worldwide locations include headquarters in Fremont, CA and offices in Texas to serve North America as well as Suzhou and Shanghai offices to support the APAC regions. Beyond its technology solutions, AMAX offers a comprehensive menu of services including engineering solution design, global logistics & certification support, and the ability to build and ship fully custom-branded server-to-rack level appliance solutions for its customers globally. The new AMAX Ireland location allows AMAX to extend these same technologies and services to the EMEA market, bringing Silicon Valley innovation to the doorstep of the European continent.

To learn more about AMAX, visit

Enquiries about recruitment can be directed to:

SCRA to Manage the Consortium for the UI LABS-led Multi-Partner Team

SCRA Applied R&D will act as the consortia manager for the recently announced Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute. United States President Barack Obama announced the award at a press conference yesterday. The federal investment for the DMDI Institute will be used to establish the Digital Lab for Manufacturing (Digital Lab), led by UI LABS, a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative. Along with the $70 million cooperative agreement, UI LABS has secured an additional $250 million dollars of support from industry, university, government and community partners to form the $320 million Digital Lab.

The Digital Lab will be headquartered in Chicago and connected to a network of manufacturing research sites across the United States. Areas of focus include Advanced Analysis, Intelligent Machining and “Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise,” which are agile and robust manufacturing strategies and integrated capabilities that dramatically reduce the cost and time of producing complex system parts. The Lab will apply cutting-edge mobile, cloud and high-performance computing technologies to the manufacturing challenges of the Department of Defense and to industry. By utilizing the Digital Manufacturing Commons (DMC), an open-source online software platform, the Digital Lab will create online networks of people, manufacturing machines and factories. In turn, this will enable real-time collaboration and analysis of big data during the design and manufacturing processes -reducing the time and cost of manufacturing, strengthening the capabilities of the U.S. supply chain and reducing Department of Defense acquisition costs.

“This award continues to emphasize the rising national profile of SCRA in terms of our collaboration management expertise and our recognized ability to bring together disparate partners and effectively deliver operational new technologies,” said SCRA Applied R&D President Chris Van Metre. “We look forward to working with the industry, government and academic partners to solve manufacturing challenges and strengthen our manufacturing base.”

The UI LABS-led consortium includes: world-class technology companies as well as both defense and commercial manufacturers; next-generation technology companies; the nation’s premier engineering schools; one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers; nationally-recognized education and workforce partners; a network of local, regional and national organizations; community colleges and MEP partners. The full list of industry, academic and community partners can be found at

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