Open Questions: Advanced Electronic Technolgy
See also: Quantum effects technology --
Digital storage technology --
Optical and optoelectronic technology
Extreme ultraviolet lithography
Electron projection lithography
Ion projection lithography
Sites with general resources
International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors
- The ITRS is a planning document produced by a cooperative
effort of semiconductor industry members, government organizations,
and research organizations to chart the future of semiconductor
technology. Report is available for download in PDF format.
- A commercial site on semiconductor technology
with several interesting features: a
bioliography of IC technology, a
glossary of terms, and information on
Surveys, overviews, tutorials
Semiconductor device fabrication
- Article from
- Article from
New era for quantum electronics
- June 2001 article from
Physics World, by
Michel Devoret. "Researchers have created a device that can
manipulate single electronic charges in silicon, a breakthrough
that could satisfy the computer industry's demand for faster and
EUV Lithography Making Possible Next Generation of Semiconductors
- June 5, 2001 article from LBL's Science Beat. Contains a presentation
of the contributions to extreme-UV lithography by the lab's Center for
Introduction to Electron Beam Lithography
- Very good technical overview of the subject, by the
Henderson Research Group (Georgia Institute of Technology).
- September 1998 article from
Physics World, by
Michel Devoret and Christian Glattli. "While the electronics
industry wonders what will happen when transistors become so
small that quantum effects become important, researchers are
building new transistors that actively exploit the quantum
properties of electrons."
Atoms join in the race for lithography in the next century
- August 1998 article from
Physics World, by
Jabez McClellan. "An impressive technology has been developing
since the 1960s to make the tiny electronic devices that form
the basic circuits in today's computer chips. ... But many
experts say that the steady increases in circuit density will
come to an abrupt halt if we do not come up with some radical
Electronics put it on plastic
- October 1998 article from
Physics World, by
Campbell Scott. "Plastic materials are now being created with
increasingly useful electronic and optical properties. These
developments extend the application of plastics beyond the
familiar garden furniture, toys and plumbing, and into "smart"
electronic devices such as identification tags, programmable
credit cards and flat-panel displays."
The Origin, Nature, and Implications of Moore's Law
- Long, detailed September 1996 paper by
Bob Schaller that
considers Moore's Law from a technology policy perspective.
"This study will examine the development and evolution of
semiconductor electronics, and in particular attempt to more
completely explain 'Moore's Law'."
The Incredible Shrinking Computer Chip
- December 2007 Scientific American articlette, subtitled
"New technology will allow increasingly compact cell phones,
PCs to harness massively powerful microprocessors."
The Magic Ingredients in Intel's New, Tinier Transistor
- January 2007 Scientific American articlette, subtitled
"Researchers predict the materials Intel and IBM may have
chosen to make their just-announced ultrasmall transistors."
- Crossbar Nanocomputers
Philip J. Kuekes; Gregory S. Snider; R. Stanley Williams
Scientific American, November 2005
- The First Nanochips
G. Dan Hutcheson
Scientific American, April 2004
- "As scientists and engineers continue to push back the
limits of chipmaking technology, they have quietly entered
into the nanometer realm."
Science News, May 17, 2003
- Lining up the future of conducting polymers.
Lightning Rods for Nanoelectronics
Steven H. Voldman
Scientific American, October 2002, pp.
- One of the barriers to much further miniturization of
electronic circuits is the damage caused by electrostaic discharge.
Shrinking toward the Ultimate Transistor
Science News, August 10, 2002, pp. 88-89
- Just how small a transistor can be is the important question.
Researchers have recently created devices in which transistor
action seems to occur in individual atoms.
- Motorola's Superchip
Technology Review, April 2002, pp. 72-77
- Silicon is the cheapest and easiest material available for
fabricating semiconductor chips, but other substances such as
gallium arsenide and indium phosphide can make faster and more
versatile chips. Motorola may have found a way to make chips
that combine the advantages of silicon and its alternatives.
A Vertical Leap for Microchips
Thomas H. Lee
Scientific American, January 2002, pp. 52-59
- A new technique has been developed to extend Moore's Law
even farther into the future. New manufacturing processes allow
for making memory and other types of chips in which transistors
are arranged in multiple layers -- initially 8, and eventually
16 or more.
- The Incredible Shrinking Circuit
Charles M. Lieber
Scientific American, September 2001, pp. 58-64
- Researchers have begun to create nanoscale electronic
components such as transistors, diodes, resistors, and logic gates.
The next step is to connect them in order to assemble useful
nanoelectronic circuits. The process may resemble chemistry
more than it does existing manufacturing techniques.
- Getting Nanowired
Science News, May 5, 2001, pp. 286-287
- Prototypes of simple electronic components such as diodes and
transistors have been made from nanowires. The next question is
whether they can be integrated into funcioning electronic circuits.
Getting More from Moore's
Scientific American, April 2001, pp. 32-36
- Intel, along with other industry partners, is ambitiously
pushing the development of extreme ultraviolet lithography
through a "Virtual National Laboratory" that involves researchers
at several national laboratories. The goal is to allow fabrication
of microcircuits with feature sizes at the limits of semiconductor
When the Chips Are Down
Science News, November 25, 2000, pp. 350-351
- Moore's law can't hold indefinitely. Replacements for silicon
chip technology are being sought in "molecular electronics" and
biological compounds like peptides and DNA.
- The End of Moore's Law?
Charles C. Mann
Technology Review, May-June 2000, pp. 42-48
- The "law" of approximately exponential increase in electronic
circuit density has held good for 35 years. But Its future longevity
is in some doubt due to various problems, such as unwanted clumping
of "dopants" added to the silicon chips and unpredictable quantum
effects in increasingly smaller chip gates.
- Chips Go Nano
Technology Review, March-April 1999, pp. 55-57
- There is a barrier at around 100 nanometers for the feature
size that can be etched on silicon chips using current state-of-the-art
deep ultraviolet lithography. Smaller features will require entirely
new technology, such as extreme ultraviolet lithography or electron
- Technology and Economics in the Semiconductor Industry
G. Dan Hutcheson; Jerry D. Hutcheson
Scientific American, January 1996, pp. 54-62
- Technical difficulties of many kinds arise in producing chips
with increasingly large number of transistors and smaller feature
sizes. But prediction of when fundamental limits will be reached
or what will happen then is also difficult.
- Toward "Point One"
Scientific American, February 1995, pp. 90-95
- "Point one" refers to the size, .1 microns, that seems to be
the smallest semiconductor feature size that can be made using
extensions of existing ultraviolet photolithography. This limit
will not be easy to approach, and supassing it will require
radically new technologies.
Copyright © 2002 by Charles Daney, All Rights Reserved