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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/S97057/01
Title: MEMS Technologies for Fast Storage Area Network Switch Fabrics (FASTSAN1)
Principal Investigator: Yeatman, Professor EM
Other Investigators:
Papavassiliou, Dr CM Holmes, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Microsaic Systems Ltd Silicon Sensing Products (UK) Ltd Xyratex
Department: Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: LINK
Starts: 01 December 2004 Ends: 31 May 2008 Value (£): 212,020
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Electronic Devices & Subsys.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
A key barrier to increasing data rates in electronic switch fabrics, and other silicon circuits, is the poor performance of on-chip inductors, caused by their coupling to the lossy substrate. In a previous EPSRC project, we have developed a method of fabricating vertical inductors by a self-assembly process, and greatly increased Q factors and frequency range have been achieved. To bring this technique towards exploitation, we propose a project to transfer the technology to an industrial foundry and improve its manufacturability, to demonstrate the high performance inductors in active and passive circuits, and to extend the range of devices and geometries achievable with the technique. The process is fully parallel and low temperature, and so has high compatibility with standard semiconductor manufacturing; in particular, we propose to develop a back-end process by which inductors, along with other metal features, are added at wafer scale between CMOS processing and packaging. This will be done with the foundry partner in the project, Silicon Sensor Products. The particular application area we will focus on is high speed switches for storage area networks, where improved filters and oscillators are needed to move data rates towards 10 Gbit/s. These will be designed by the applications partner, Xyratex. Microsaic Systems, a spin-out company from Imperial, will handle overall project management and intellectual property issues.
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk