The Mission of the ASCENT Center is to transcend the current limitations of high-performance transistors confined to a single planar layer of integrated circuit by pioneering vertical monolithic integration of multiple interleaved layers of logic and memory, by demonstrating beyond-CMOS device concepts that combine processing and memory functions, heterogeneously integrating functionally diverse nano-components into integrated microsystems and by demonstrating in-memory compute kernels to accelerate future data-intensive at-scale cognitive workloads.

Research Themes

Theme 1: Vertical CMOS

Vertical CMOS addresses the fundamental challenges encountered during implementation of monolithic 3D vertical integrated circuits with multiple interleaved layers of logic and memory when stacked atop each other.

Theme 2: Beyond CMOS

Beyond CMOS tackles fundamental challenges associated with ultimate energy efficiency and ultra-fast switching of spintronic devices. Spins bring in nonvolatility, high speed and infinite endurance, a combination that is rare to find in charge based devices.

Theme 3: Heterogeneous Integration Fabric

Multi-function Heterogeneous Fabric proposes a radical departure from the current roadmap of board level integration of heterogeneous ICs and targets functional diversification of future micro-systems by introducing the HeterogeneoUs faBric (the HUB) where fine-pitch micro-aligned integration of functionally diverse dielets will be enabled on rigid and/or flexible substrates.

Theme 4: Merged Logic-Memory Fabric

Merged Logic-Memory Fabric is a holistic cross-layer design, optimization and implementation effort to create a scalable, high-performance and energy-efficient microsystem that incorporates critical nanotechnology components from Themes 1-3 to accelerate machine learning.

Jump Bug

ASCENT is one of six research centers funded by the Semiconductor Research Corporation's (SRC) Joint University Microelectronics Program (JUMP), which represents a consortium of industrial participants and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

JUMP is a collaborative network of research centers sponsored by semiconductor industry participants across the globe and DARPA. Its mission is to enable the continued pace of growth of the microelectronics industry with discoveries that release the evolutionary constraints of traditional semiconductor technology development. JUMP research, guided by university center directors, tackles the most fundamental and challenging problems facing the electronics industry and forges a nationwide effort to sustain Moore’s Law. This allows the top technology companies around the world to push the frontier of the global microelectronics revolution.

SRC is a world-class technology research consortium. With its highly regarded university research programs, SRC plays an indispensable part in the R&D strategies of some of industry's most influential entities.



ASCENT is a collaboration of the following Universities:

  • Logo Asu

    Arizona State
  • Logo Cornell

  • Logo Georgia Tech

    Georgia Tech
  • Logo ND

    Notre Dame
  • Logo Purdue

  • Logo Stanford

  • Logo Colorado

    U of Colorado
  • Logo Minnesota

    U of Minnesota
  • Logo Berkeley

    UC Berkeley
  • Logo UC San Diego

    UC San Diego
  • Logo UCSB

    UC Santa Barbara
  • Logo UCLA

  • Logo UT Dallas

    UT - Dallas

Contact ASCENT:

  • Director

    Suman Datta
    University of Notre Dame

  • Co-Director

    Sayeef Salahuddin
    University of California Berkeley

  • Managing Director

    Robert Dunn
    University of Notre Dame

  • Administrative Support

    Barbara Walsh
    University of Notre Dame

  • Administrative Office for ASCENT

    Cushing Hall Room 206
    Notre Dame, IN 46556

Newsletter - February 2018