The Midwest Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery (MIND) is one of four centers funded by the Semiconductor Research Corporation's Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI). The goal of NRI and its university-based centers is to demonstrate novel computing devices capable of replacing the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) transistor as a logic switch. The new switch must surpass what can be done with the transistor in terms of size, speed, cost, and energy efficiency. The search for this new technology is time-critical because the physical limitations of transistors will be reached by 2020, and the advance of integrated circuit technology will stall.

Established in 2008, MIND is led by the University of Notre Dame and includes Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and University of Texas-Dallas. Nineteen principal investigators lead the 60-member research team. Collaborations also link the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Argonne National Laboratory, and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

With an extension of NRI's funding for 2011 and 2012 (phase 1.5), MIND has narrowed its focus, and researchers are now working to demonstrate the performance potential of two technologies:

- tunneling field-effect transistors
- nanomagnetic logic

The MIND team also includes computer architects, who are collaborating with the Center's experimentalists and designers to seek better computing frameworks, with the goal of discovering applications to be pursued in NRI's second phase. MIND is also supporting the architecture benchmarking efforts of the four NRI Centers (INDEX, MIND, WIN, and SWAN).

In addition to funding from NRI, NIST, and participating universities, MIND gratefully acknowledges support from the city of South Bend, the state of Indiana, and IBM. To date, funding for MIND from all sources exceeds $20 million.

MIND at a glance

- 2008

- Find the next switch

- Notre Dame
- Penn State
- Purdue
- University of Texas at Dallas

- 60 researchers total, led by 19 faculty

Research focus
- Tunnel field-effect transistors
- Nanomagnetic logic
- Device architectures

Supported by
- Nanoelectronics Research Initiative
- Nat. Inst. of Standards & Technologies
- State of Indiana
- City of South Bend
- Participating universities

Technical director
Alan Seabaugh

Managing director
Robert Dunn