eFutures - maximising the impact of UK electronics research
There is a strong need for a new network to consolidate electronics research in UK universities. In recent years there have been major changes in technology, as the push for miniaturization has led to components with characteristics far from ideal transistor switches interconnected by wires instantaneously. Today’s transistors get too hot, leak current, vary in size and are produced in their billions on chips the size of a thumb nail interconnected relatively slowly by miles of wiring. This creates a formidable challenge for designers, who already face the complexity of design on a bewildering scale. The public have an appetite for all things electronic and demand new and better products year on year. This also creates a challenge for designers and an opportunity for the electronics community.
By working together these challenges can be tackled, making the UK’s electronics community “fit for purpose” in the coming years to face critical challenges at the interface between design and technology. Complementing industry facing groups such as the National Microelectronics Institute (NMI) and the Electronics Knowledge Transfer Network (EKTN), the network will form part of a highly visible coordinated alliance to government and the media, who can use it for information, opinion and clarification in this space. This is important for the UK economy as the global electronics market is worth more than a trillion dollars annually. The initial membership will be drawn from the technology community who formed the Si Futures network and those participating in the design Common Vision. Together they represent a significant proportion of the UK academic community. There is a recognition that a broader electronics research community than those included in the previous network grants need to come together.
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