Science

Launch: Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies

L-R: Ana Deletic, Marc Palange, Michael Fuhrer, Sue Thomas, Alex Hamilton
Friday, 15 June, 2018
Errol Hunt

FLEET - the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies - has been officially launched.

Headquartered at Monash University, the Centre comprises over 100 researchers at seven Australian universities and 13 Australian and international science organisations, including a team of more than 20 UNSW scientists from the School of Physics and the School of Materials Science and Engineering.

Humans have an insatiable appetite for computing, and the information technology revolution has improved lives.

The problem is that computers burn a lot of energy. Currently, 5 to 8% of global electricity use is being consumed by information and communications technology, and that figure is doubling every decade.

FLEET was established to address this growing computing energy challenge using cutting-edge physics such as topological materials, which were recognised by the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics.

The Centre was opened this week by ARC Chief Executive Officer Professor Sue Thomas. Also present were Monash Provost and Senior Vice President Professor Marc Parlange, FLEET Director Professor Michael Fuhrer, and UNSW Scientia Professor Alex Hamilton.

“This ARC Centre of Excellence will focus on addressing the global challenge of reducing the energy used in information technology and computation, to develop revolutionary electronics and communications technologies,” Professor Thomas said.

“More efficient, low-energy electronics technologies and devices are critical to the future of computing and communication, to address the limitations of present technology.

“FLEET will develop novel methods of resistance-free electronic conduction that will meet the growing demand for computation that can operate at ultra-low energy consumption.

“Working collaboratively with other participating universities and its Australian and international industry partners, the Centre of Excellence will equip the next generation of researchers with the skills and industry experience to lead this field into the future.”

The MC for the event held this week was UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Ana Deletic. UNSW physicist Dr Daisy Wang spoke about the challenge of ICT energy use. Read her speech here.