Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

RIT joins new U.S.-Japan partnership designed to boost semiconductor development

RIT’s cleanroom, located in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, is undergoing updates this summer in recognition of the demand for increased research and teaching related to computer chip design, development, and manufacturing.
Elizabeth Lamark/RIT
/
provided photo
RIT’s cleanroom, located in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, is undergoing updates this summer in recognition of the demand for increased research and teaching related to computer chip design, development, and manufacturing.

The Rochester Institute of Technology is one of a half-dozen U.S. universities that are now part of an international partnership to improve competitiveness in computer chip design and manufacturing.

The partnership was announced at the recent G7 Summit in Japan. It’s being led by Micron Corporation and the National Science Foundation, and it will pair up universities from both the U.S. and Japan including RIT.

The collaboration is called the U.S.-Japan University Partnership for Workforce Advancement and Research & Development in Semiconductors for the Future (UPWARDS).

One of the aims is to expand engineering education and research to underrepresented students and faculty.

Doreen Edwards, who is the dean of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at RIT, said that diversity is good for the university community as well as for the effort to ramp up development of computer chips.

“Because when you bring diverse teams together, they come up with more creative solutions. And there are other reasons, the jobs in the semiconductor field are very high paying jobs, highly skilled, high paying jobs,” noted Edwards, “and I believe that getting more individuals working in this field, it will be better for everybody.”

Edwards said this collaboration will involve having students and faculty from RIT and other universities in the U.S. interact with their counterparts at several universities in Japan.

“We are going to be sending students from RIT to the universities in Japan, and those students are going to be able to interact with their counterparts at the Japanese universities, learn about culture, learn about the fabrication facilities over there, and really just enrich their ability to work in a global environment,” Edwards said.

A press release from Micron said that the company is the largest foreign investor in Japan over the last five years, and it said this new partnership “will drive emerging research while increasing the pipeline of students studying a semiconductor curriculum.”

Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrota said that the collaboration “reflects Micron’s long-term commitment to strengthening the semiconductor systems in the U.S. and Japan.

Micron announced last October that it would open a semiconductor plant in upstate New York, promising an investment of up to $100 billion over two decades and a plant that could bring 50,000 jobs to the state.

Micron also has had a longstanding relationship with RIT.

This story includes reporting from the Associated Press.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.