Blue circuit board
(C. Todd Lopez/United States Department of Defense)

$15.3M awarded to California-Pacific-Northwest AI Hardware Hub by the DOD Microelectronics Commons

UC Davis electrical and computer engineering faculty part of the new US CHIPS and Science Act partnership to advance semiconductor technologies for AI

Stanford University, along with the University of California, Berkeley, will lead the California-Pacific-Northwest AI Hardware Microelectronics Commons Hub (Northwest AI Hub), one of eight Microelectronics Commons regional innovation hubs awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). The Northwest AI Hub will receive $15.3 million in funding this year, part of a total package of $238 million awarded to all eight innovation hubs across the country.  

The hub awards, the largest to date under the CHIPS and Science Act, were announced in September by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.  

The Northwest AI Hub leadership includes H.-S. Philip Wong, professor of electrical engineering, and Subhasish Mitra, professor of electrical engineering and of computer science, both at Stanford University's School of Engineering; and from UC Berkeley, Tsu-Jae King Liu, dean of the College of Engineering and professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, and Sayeef Salahuddin, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences. The hub includes more than 40 other members from academia, government laboratories, and industry. 

"Northern California and the Pacific Northwest are hotbeds of artificial intelligence hardware research and development advances," says Wong, the Willard R. and Inez Kerr Bell Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility. "Our Hub partners cover the entire value chain of semiconductors, from materials, devices, to exploratory data analysis and chip design, packaging, as well as system prototyping and testing. Additionally, Stanford's shared nanofabrication facilities will be a valuable resource to the Microelectronics Commons both for advancing technologies that have broad societal impact, and for developing STEM talents." 

"The Microelectronics Commons network of prototyping facilities is a major investment by the U.S. Department of Defense to accelerate the lab-to-fab transition of new semiconductor technologies," says Liu, the Roy. W. Carlson Professor of Engineering at UC Berkeley. "I'm excited to see the Berkeley NanoLab serve the nation as a facility for prototyping artificial intelligence hardware systems and workforce development, and Berkeley researchers collaborate with partners in academia and industry to tackle key challenges for advancing AI hardware technologies." 

Partner institutions of the Northwest AI Hub include:  

  • Oregon State University (Lead PI: Tom Weller) 
  • University of California, Davis (Lead PI: S. J. Ben Yoo
  • University of Hawaii (Lead PI: Jeffrey Weldon) 
  • University of Washington (Lead PI: Maria Huffman) 
  • Western Digital Corporation (Lead PI: Tom Boone)

Read the press release from the School of Engineering at Stanford University 

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