October 2, 2018

Technology Roadmap Poised to Revolutionize Discovery at the Intersection of Semiconductors and Synthetic Biology

SRC

NIST Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMTech) partners with SRC and funds SemiSynBio Roadmap to address advanced manufacturing challenges

 Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) today announced the release of their much anticipated Semiconductor Synthetic Biology (SemiSynBio) Technology Roadmap.

Biological systems are significantly more energy efficient and better at information processing than current-day silicon-based systems. SemiSynBio — a SRC research program — aims to advance and leverage biological systems for information processing, and the SemiSynBio Roadmap will be the vehicle to realize the transformative potential of the new technology emerging at the interface between semiconductors and synthetic biology.

As performance and function capabilities drastically rise, the semiconductor industry is facing fundamental physical limits and punishing increases in technology development and manufacturing costs. To fully leverage the benefits of the internet of things and “big data,” new approaches to collecting, sharing, analyzing, and storing data and information are desperately needed. One such approach lies at the intersection of synthetic biology and semiconductor technology — SemiSynBio.

Says Andrew Hessel of Humane Genomics and a participant in the roadmapping efforts:

“Moore’s law doesn’t just stay on pace because technologies magically come together at the right time. SRC plays a key role in roadmapping the future and allocating R&D funding to bridge gaps in the roadmap. This type of roadmapping is unfamiliar in life science but will be crucial for the synthetic biology industry to advance in a coordinated and predictable fashion.”

He adds that the benefits are symbiotic. We are reaching the limits of Moore’s law, and the semiconductor industry is looking to harness the self-assembly mechanisms used by living, carbon-based systems. But bridges need to be made between two very disparate R&D communities and cultures. The development of a SemiSynBio Technology Roadmap represents a key milestone toward building such bridges.

According to Hessel, the first common ground has been found in bits and bases, with the practical application being DNA data storage. Building on this foundation, “molecular electronics” promises to open the door to incredibly powerful sequencers, synthesizers, and sensors.

“Moving forward, we can foresee a day when biology and electronic systems are seamlessly linked, creating a hybrid technology with limitless potential to benefit humanity,” says John Cumbers, CEO of SynBioBeta and SemiSynBio Roadmap contributor.

“Innovation explosions often occur at the intersection of scientific disciplines, and SemiSynBio is an excellent example of this,” said Victor Zhirnov, SRC Chief Scientist and Chairman of the SemiSynBio Roadmap Consortium. “This Roadmap, employed by a multi-disciplinary team of experts, will accelerate research along the critical path to commercialization.”

SRC welcomes industrial sponsors to participate in the SemiSynBio research program. For more information, contact David Wallach @ david.wallach@src.org.

For more information on the NIST AMTech program, visit http://www.nist.gov/amo/70nanb15h064.cfm.

About SRC

Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), a world-renowned, high technology-based consortium, serves as a crossroads of collaboration between technology companies, academia, government agencies, and SRC’s highly regarded engineers and scientists. Through its interdisciplinary research programs and advanced tools and technologies, SRC plays an indispensable role in addressing global challenges. Members of SRC work synergistically together and gain access to research results, fundamental IP, and highly experienced students to compete in the global marketplace and build the workforce of tomorrow. Learn more at: www.src.org.

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