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CEA LETI and Caltech sign Alliance for Nanosystems

CEA LETI and the Californian research institute, Caltech, have signed an alliance for very large-scale integration of nanosystems. Researchers at these two major internationally-renowned institutes will work together to take miniaturization and integration of mechanical systems to limits never before achieved in the realm of the infinitesimally small.

25 January 2008 - 25 February 2008
To mark its 40th anniversary, the CEA Laboratory of Electronics and Information Technologies (LETI) in Grenoble announced the signature of a partnership agreement with Caltech on Nanosystems VLSI (very large-scale integration) . This alliance, the first of its kind at international level, is aimed at producing complex, operational nanosystems that can be mass produced.
Drawing on synergy between two of the world’s leading centers for research on nanotechnologies, the alliance between CEA LETI and Caltech involves cooperation between researchers specializing in nanoscience, microsystems, engineering and technology, whose skills are mutually complementary, encompassing every stage from fundamental research to pre-industrial research. It will lead to the production of pioneering and operational prototypes before going on to be manufactured on an industrial scale.
According to Laurent Malier, Director of CEA LETI, a major partner in Europe’s Minatec® center for research and innovation in micro- and nanotechnology, “The Alliance for Nanosystems VLSI perfectly illustrates the potential for innovation generated by the meeting of Science and Technology. I am very excited to see Caltech and CEA LETI share the same vision. All the ingredients have been assembled to develop world firsts, together with the related intellectual property rights and applications in the real world.”
Michael Roukes, Professor at Caltech, founder of KNI (Kavli Nanoscience Institute) and project coordinator for fundamental research, said, “There’s a lot of talk about “nanosystems”, they are made out to be the solution to all our problems. Now, the time has come to produce concrete results, but to do this, we need to see how to assemble and produce complex systems containing thousands of devices all working together in harmony.”
A pioneer in introducing new cutting-edge processes and protocols in the microelectronics industry, for the last 40 years, CEA LETI has focused on transferring its expertise from the research laboratory to the factory floor. For its part, Caltech is the “birth place” of nanotechnology; in 1959, one of its famous physicists, Nobel prizewinner, Richard Feynman, laid the foundations in exploring the ultimate limits of miniaturization.

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CEA, France’s Atomic Energy Commission, is a public organization which carries out technological research in the areas of energy, healthcare and information technology, and defense and security, drawing on an outstanding level of excellence in fundamental research. Thanks to the expertise of its 15,000 researchers and employees, CEA has earned international recognition and is regarded by French and European policymakers, institutions and industry as a vital source of new ideas.
CEA LETI (Laboratory of Electronics and Information Technology), in Grenoble, is at the forefront of European research on microelectronics, microtechnology and nanotechnology: it employs nearly 1,000 people and files around 200 patents every year. With twenty-eight start-ups set up or in the process of being set up, it is a key partner for the industrial sector. The driving force behind setting up the Minatec® innovation centre, CEA LETI is also one of its main partners, together with INP Grenoble and the local authorities.
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MINATEC® is a CEA registered trademark.

About Caltech
Based in Pasadena, a short distance from Los Angeles, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is one of the leading science and technology institutes in the world. Its ambitions are to enrich human knowledge for the good of society through interdisciplinary research that remains closely involved in teaching, while providing students with the skills and motivation they need to become creative members of society.
Drawing on an academic elite in every subject, Caltech has 2,000 students on undergraduate and graduate programs and boasts one of the best staff-to-student ratios in the world. Given the small number of faculty staff and students, Caltech provides a unique environment for interdisciplinary scientific research through a broad range of academic and vocational courses, as well as contact with teaching staff and alumni that include 32 Nobel prizewinners.
The exceptional resources available at Caltech include the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mont Palomar and Keck Observatories, and the Kavli Nanoscience Institute.
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