Intel donates $3 million in equipment to upgrade UC Berkeley computer labs

by Karen Holtermann

Berkeley --Some $3 million in computers and computer-chip manufacturing equipment has been donated by Intel Corp. to boost teaching and research capabilities at the University of California at Berkeley.

The equipment from Intel, the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer, will upgrade an array of laboratories and classrooms used by students and faculty in electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley.

"Over the years Intel has a been one of the most significant corporate supporters of the College of Engineering," said Paul Gray, dean of engineering. "The company's recent generosity extends and enhances the tools available to students and faculty addressing a broad spectrum of challenges in computer and electronics technology."

New facilities created by the gift will be dedicated today (Feb. 18) on the Berkeley campus by the dean and Dennis Carter, Intel vice president and director of marketing.

The new equipment includes 225 desktop computers and several powerful servers, valued at more than $1.9 million. With it, the campus is upgrading research computing capabilities and creating new instructional labs, many for introductory courses in computer science.

The gift will also benefit graduate students and faculty members involved in projects ranging from wireless computing to digital video broadcasting to optical modeling.

The Intel gift also brings $1.1 million in chip-making equipment to UC Berkeley, recycled from one of Intel's most successful semiconductor manufacturing plants.

The equipment will upgrade UC Berkeley's Microfabrication Laboratory, a unique working lab in which students and researchers fabricate their own integrated circuits to test their electronic designs and chip-manufacturing processes.

These new machines are part of $9 million in recycled manufacturing equipment being donated to 20 colleges and universities nationwide from Intel's Hillsboro, Oregon, factory, which was decommissioned in December.

The recycling program is part of Intel's "continuing commitment to invest in education," said Mike Splinter, corporate vice president and assistant general manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group. He added that the program is "helping to train the next generation of technologists for the U.S. industry."

Intel has supported an array of engineering endeavors at UC Berkeley, including research projects, student aid and programs, and the construction of the campus's new computer science building, Soda Hall.

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