Campus Researchers Receive Funding to Establish Energy Conservation Center

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UC Berkeley researchers have been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation to head a multi-institutional center dedicated to energy conservation.

The $24.5 million grant will, over the next five years, provide funding for the establishment of a Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science, which would increase education and research on power-saving technologies. The research could potentially reduce energy consumption by a factor of a million, according to Eli Yablonovitch, a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and director of the center.

He said research will be focused on developing more efficient transistors-the devices that turn electrical circuits on and off-which would require less than one volt to operate in contrast to current transistors.

"We argued that it was actually possible, it didn't violate any (scientific) laws and that we could potentially reduce the voltage to millivolts," Yablonovitch said.

According to the statement, the center will be composed of 19 faculty members, 11 of which are from UC Berkeley.

Other campuses involved in the center are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Contra Costa College, Los Angeles Trade Technical College and the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

According to Yablonovitch, the grant was one of five distributed by the foundation to fund Science and Technology Centers. He said the foundation only issues this type of grant every four years.

Kim Bielak of The Daily Californian contributed to this report.

Mihir Zaveri is the assistant university news editor. Contact him at [email protected]

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