New technology research group at NUI Maynooth

12 Dec 2005

NUI Maynooth is establishing a new national institute that will research wireless technologies and microelectronics, including next-generation mobile phone systems.

The Institute of Microelectronics and Wireless Systems intends to undertake world-class research and assist the wireless and microelectronics sectors, which currently employ more than 50,000 people across a range of companies based in Ireland such as Intel and Bell Labs.

The new research group will be funded through grants from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Enterprise Ireland, totalling €4.5m over the next four years. It has already forged relationships with several firms in this sector, including Dublin-based start-up companies and large multinationals. Among these is Bell Labs, with which the institute collaborating on work involving new novel wireless systems.

Among the research projects at the institute will be the development of the next generation of mobile phones. It is anticipated that these 4G phones will be capable of adapting to any standard or band throughout the world, hopping between phone companies and technologies as the need demands. This would be aimed at ensuring that the user always receives the optimum service at the best price, at all times. The institute will specialise in the combination of electronics and wireless technologies needed to achieve this ambition.

Institute director Dr Ronan Farrell is heading up the group, which currently has 26 researchers, including eight senior researchers and 18 postgraduate students. The facility has at its disposal state-of-the-art facilities for designing and prototyping wireless devices and silicon chips. These facilities have been provided through the support of SFI and support from partner companies.

By Gordon Smith