Paving the way for the smart gadgets of the future

Published: 23 May 2007

Glasgow University researchers receive ?1.2million to help develop the next generation of electronic gadgets

Researchers at Glasgow University have been awarded £1.2million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to stay one step ahead in the development of modelling and design technology aimed at preventing the electronics industry from grinding to a halt in the future.

The Glasgow Device Modelling Group (GDMG), based at Glasgow University, is a world leader in the development of simulation tools and techniques used to better understand and design the transistors that will power future generation electronic devices similar to the iPhone and the PlayStation 3. However, as the electronics industry is developing smaller and faster transistors their behaviour is becoming more unpredictable and their integration in silicon chips more difficult.

Professor Asen Asenov said: 'As consumer demands increase it is vital that the semiconductor industry can increase the number of transistors on silicon chips so as to increase the speed and the functionality of the chips. Transistors are at the heart of all integrated circuits enabling the amassing capabilities of mobile phones, computers, mp3 players, games consoles, and making cars, washing machines and microwave ovens smarter.

'The difficulty facing the electronics industry is that as the transistors are reaching almost molecular dimensions, the more unpredictable they are becoming. This means it is more difficult to design the future billion transistor chips which will remain stable and reliable enough to be used in consumer products.

'The platform grant from the EPSRC will allow us to develop models of the next generation atomic scale transistors, which will be 10 times smaller than their present counterpart, and to learn how to integrate a hundred times more of them into the chips that will make the gadgets of the future faster and smarter.

'We don't know what exactly the future of the semiconductor industry holds but with the help of the platform grant we would like to make sure that Scotland and the UK as a whole will be an important part of this future.'

The platform grant was awarded to Professors Asen Asenov and John Barker and Dr Scott Roy of the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at Glasgow University.

Kate Richardson (

For more information please contact Kate Richardson at the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3683 or email

First published: 23 May 2007

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