UCLA CHIPS Commences Partnership with Leading Semiconductor Industry Groups in Taiwan

UCLA CHIPS Commences Partnership with Leading Semiconductor Industry Groups in Taiwan

Virtual signing ceremony with representatives from CHIPS, ITRI and AITA

Oct 29, 2021

UCLA Samueli Newsroom
A UCLA research center that designs next-generation integrated circuits forged a new partnership with two research institutes in Taiwan to advance development of artificial intelligence (AI) chips.

The Center for Heterogeneous Integration and Performance Scaling (CHIPS) at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Heterogeneous Integration Advanced Packaging on Sept. 14 in conjunction with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Artificial Intelligence on Chip Taiwan Alliance (AITA).

The goal of the agreement is to combine the resources and efforts of CHIPS, ITRI and AITA to improve AI chip designs and their global distribution. AI chips can be designed to drive large-scale computing systems with higher speeds yet consuming less power, said AITA chairman Nicky Lu.

“There are tremendous treasures for us to dig, so I will call Taiwan a ‘Treasure Island’… and that name also applies to UCLA,” Lu said during a virtual signing ceremony with representatives from all three organizations.

CHIPS focuses its research on the latest high-performance computing technologies and finding ways to integrate them into new systems. Taiwan’s ITRI brings to the table a solid foundation in packaging and patented high-speed communications technologies. AITA connects the resources of Taiwan’s semiconductor-related industries with those of the government and academia to strengthen cooperative relationships with global innovators.

The convergence of these specialties is supported by Taiwan’s Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

“We believe that the collaboration between AITA and UCLA leads to the future, amplifying [the memorandum] with UCLA, we could lay a firm foundation for international collaboration,” said Xian-Yi Lin, DoIT’s science and technology advisor.

Subramanian Iyer, UCLA’s Charles P. Reames Endowed Chair and Distinguished Chancellor’s Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the director of CHIPS, represented CHIPS at the memorandum-signing ceremony.

“The feedback and suggestions we get from ITRI have had a very positive and meaningful impact on our research direction, execution and most importantly on the education of our students who will lead this work in the years to come,” Iyer said at the ceremony.

CHIPS currently hosts 15 graduate students and five undergraduate students from various engineering backgrounds in its research endeavors. Dozens of accomplished alumni now working in the semiconductor industry have graduated from the program since its inception in 2015.

The goal of CHIPS is to develop new materials and components for an array of computer devices in ways that will improve their performance and reduce costs.

The agreement was highlighted in news stories around the globe including the Associated Press, Business Insider, and Market Watch.

Natalie Weber contributed to this story.

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