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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is soliciting proposals to support long-term research in next-generation semiconductor technology, which is critical to the future of the U.S. electronics industry.

To launch the effort, NIST plans to provide up to $2.6 million in federal cost-shared funding for a project’s first year, with the potential for continued funding for up to five years. Under the terms of the proposal request, posted March 15, 2012, at Grants.gov (www.grants.gov), the consortium that receives the funding will be required to provide a minimum of 25 percent of its budget from nonfederal sources.

The new effort targets the development of novel technologies that will be radically different than what is used in today’s computer chips, known as complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. CMOS is expected to reach its physical limits within 10-15 years as components shrink to the atomic scale, rendering it more and more difficult to increase the density of components on a chip and achieve low-power operation.

NIST seeks to support a program involving an industry-guided partnership—possibly including commercial, academic, nonprofit and/or governmental organizations—to help overcome these technical hurdles. Accordingly, the funding recipient is expected to be a consortium of organizations that can undertake a far-reaching effort beyond the resources of any individual consortium member.

Proposal submissions must be received no later than 5 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, April 16, 2012. Selection and award processing is expected to be completed in July, and the earliest anticipated start date for awards is expected to be October 1, 2012.

For more information, including submission guidelines and evaluation criteria, please visit www.grants.gov and search for Funding Opportunity Number 2012-NIST-POST-CMOS-01.


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