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Fact Sheet

Next Generation Computing and Communications

February 14, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

This century will be marked by the revolutionary use of computing and wireless communication. Computing and wireless communication evolved from their limited but promising uses in academia, industry, and defense, to ubiquitously affect our daily lives. For example, research conducted by the computer and semiconductor industries transformed telecommunications, retail sales, and banking. National Science Foundation (NSF) investments in the nation's first academic computer science departments helped mark the beginning of this revolution, and the agency will continue to promote economic and social change with its new initiatives in 2012.

The Wireless Innovation (WIN) Fund and Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS) are NSF's contributions to the national priorities set by the Administration. The WIN Fund, funded through receipts generated from electromagnetic spectrum auctions, would support multi-year investments in basic research and wireless testbeds. A particular focus would be investments in EARS, which will fund the next generation of technologies and methodologies that will optimize the existing infrastructure and create more advanced tools such as cognitive radio systems and the mobile use of the millimeter wave bands. The goals are to enhance America's wireless infrastructure for economic and societal benefit.

Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) aims to transform existing academic science and engineering networks with new modalities to support data-enabled science via better data collection, curation and management; community research networks that will better connect people, facilities, computers, and other tools; a new computational infrastructure to support advancements in computational resources; and access and connectivity to cyberinfrastructure facilities to promote collaborative research projects.

Science and Engineering Beyond Moore's Law (SEBML), a multidisciplinary research investment, aims to surpass the physical and conceptual limits that will halt computer processing development within the next 10 to 20 years. This initiative aims for breakthroughs in input/output, data storage, reductions in energy consumption, and sheer computing power.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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