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Showing posts from February, 2011

Where's lithography going?

The semiconductor industry has seen some trying times of late, but the energy feels strongly positive today, on the first day of the lithography community’s annual gathering in San Jose. And the perspective is strongly forward-looking, as evidenced by the first two talks at SPIE Advanced Lithography.
The meeting began with all-symposium plenary talks, as it has for most of the 35 years it has been held.
EUV was front-and-center in IMEC CEO Luc Van den hove’s picture of the future; IMEC has invested in ASML’s new NXE3100 pre-production EUV lithography scanner. Van den hove shared his vision of how applications of semiconductor technology will further enhance human capabilities and presented the necessary device roadmap to make that vision a reality.


"We are people of bits and bytes," he said. "Just imagine a day without your smart phone.” That demand, he noted, creates an increasingly large need to lower energy consumption to realize true advances that will help solve the l…

‘Have photonics knowledge, will share’

Knowledge is power. In the case of science, knowledge shared can also result in funding and other support for the R&D that will solve many of the world’s energy, healthcare, communications, and other problems. But ... how to go about sharing? One of the mid-week television highlights over the last month has been the NOVA series on “Making Stuff,” with its four episodes on clean technology, smart materials, nanotechnology, and high-strength materials. “Stuff” refers to materials but the overlaps with light-based technologies -- optics and photonics -- are pervasive, and the show’s host, New York Times tech columnist David Pogue, is an effective ambassador for science. (Follow the link below to see the series on PBS.) David is not the only science ambassador out there. I sat in on a meeting during SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco last month at which a group of 20 people went around the room telling what they have done in the past year to advance the understanding of science in the…

A new era in integrated photonics begins at OpSIS

Intel’s Mario Paniccia has an amazing list of tasks that could be done via a fingernail-size chip loaded with optical integrated circuits: download the contents of the U.S. Library of Congress in 1.5 minutes, or an entire movie or 150 albums worth of music in a second; or run complex medical imaging from a handheld device, to name just a few items.

An important new piece in creating the solutions for making all that happen in a cost-effective way got a big push forward yesterday in Seattle, at the kick-off event for the new OpSIS lab at the University of Washington.

  
Michael Hochberg, Director of OpSIS (Optoelectronic Systems Integration in Silicon) was joined by high-level friends and partners as well as UW staff, faculty, and students in launching the new lab, a multi-project wafer shuttle service for silicon photonics. CalTech's Carver Mead -- who coined Moore's Law and is a co-inventor of VLSI circuits -- was there, as was Justin Rattner, Chief Technology Officer of Inte…