Georgia Tech Chips Day Explores the Latest Developments in Microelectronics and Semiconductors

Georgia Tech Chips Day Welcome

More than 150 academic, government, and industry experts gathered on Tuesday, May 2, in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building for Georgia Tech Chips Day. The event was designed to bring together experts in microelectronics to learn from each other, network, and discuss this rapidly changing field.

Hosted by the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN), Chips Day began with a recorded statement from U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff emphasizing the importance of microelectronics and semiconductor research and commending Georgia Tech for hosting the event.

The agenda included speakers with a wide variety of expertise, including Gregg Bartlett, chief technology officer of GlobalFoundries, Fayrouz Saad, director of public engagement for the CHIPS Program Office, and Victor Zhirnov, chief scientist of Semiconductor Research Corporation, among others. Multiple Georgia Tech faculty members also gave talks, including Chaouki Abdallah, executive vice president of research, and Arijit Raychowdhury, professor and chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

During his keynote address, Bartlett discussed market trends in the semiconductor industry and the market focus and roadmap for GlobalFoundries, one of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers. He explained that GlobalFoundries’ core focuses are on innovation and differentiated platforms, including silicon photonics, FinFET, and feature-rich CMOS. Bartlett also noted that, due to the dynamic nature of the semiconductor market, success requires collaboration across research consortia and academic institutions, including events like Chips Day and the recent partnership on semiconductor research and workforce development signed with Georgia Tech.

"I am incredibly proud of the work that the IEN faculty, staff, students, and our industrial and governmental partners did to make Chips Day a success,” said Michael Filler, IEN’s associate director of research. “This event brought together some of the brightest minds in the semiconductor industry to share their ideas and collaborate on solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our field.”

Chips Day also included a ceremony honoring John Hooper (M.S. EE 1955, Ph.D. EE 1961), Georgia Tech Regents’ Professor emeritus and the founding director of the Microelectronics Research Center (MiRC), which is now IEN. It included an overview of Hooper’s career and accomplishments given by David Hertling, professor emeritus in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Hooper’s children, Jeff and Christie, were also in attendance.

Hertling explained how Hooper worked with President Joseph Pettit in the 1980s to establish a strong microelectronics research presence at Georgia Tech. This included designing the MiRC, which was uniquely constructed as a resource center to enable faculty from all disciplines to engage in cutting-edge research. This model allowed Tech to attract top microelectronics talent and become a leader in the space. Thanks to Hooper’s efforts, among others, IEN is now home to one of the largest academic cleanrooms in the country and supports the research of more than 1,000 users per year from Georgia Tech, other academic institutions, industry, and government labs.

In addition to the talks, Chips Day included industry panels on economic and workforce development featuring thought leaders in these respective areas. Georgia Tech students participated in a poster session to give attendees a glimpse into their research and vendors showcased the latest products and solutions driving advancements in semiconductors and microelectronics.

“Georgia Tech is committed to advancing semiconductor research and development,” concluded Filler. “I am confident that the work that was done at Chips Day will help to ensure that the United States remains a leader in semiconductor innovation for years to come."

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Laurie Haigh
Research Communications