A $1.5 million grant to design faster computers that make use of new
technologies has been awarded to engineers at the University of
Tennessee-Knoxville.

Dr. Don Bouldin, a UT-Knoxville electrical and computer engineering
professor, heads a group of seven scientists conducting a three-year
project for the Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Bouldin said the team will design computers that take advantage of a new
technology that merges several integrated circuits -- or chips. The
multi-chip technology results in faster, more powerful computer systems, he
said.

Bouldin said UT researchers will create designs that make the best use of
the multi-chip modules. They also seek to develop tools that allow computer
makers to explore different multi-chip uses early on in the manufacturing
process.

''The speed of today's microelectronic systems is limited not by the
integrated circuits themselves, but by the packages in which they are
housed,'' Bouldin said. ''With the availability of such advanced packages,
there is a need to explore how the design of integrated circuits can be
optimized to exploit this new technology.''

The project is one of 13 chosen for funding from about 275 competing
proposals, Bouldin said.

UT is collaborating on the project with SUN Microsystems of Mountain View,
Calif., and the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation of
Austin, Texas.