The new Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations, planned to be operational by the end of the year, will be the largest supercomputing center at a university and one of the 10 largest in the world, according to its backers. Troy, N.Y.-based Rensselaer is already a major center for nanotechnology research and part ofto make the state one of the leaders in the field through tax breaks, infrastructure and educational programs.
The budget for the center is roughly $100 million.
Cadence, which makes semiconductor design tools, and Advanced Micro Devices will participate as well. IBM and AMD, among others, already are part of an effort to build a, N.Y. (AMD's chief executive, Hector Ruiz, said in 2003 that New York State was the only U.S. region
At the Rensselaer supercomputing center, scientists will attempt to design transistors and other devices measuring only a few nanometers long (a nanometer is a billionth of a meter). They will also simulate how different atoms and materials interact.
The research could play into processor development. Today's chips sport features measuring less than 65 nanometers and consist of only a few atoms. By 2015, features on some chips will measure only 22 nanometers.