Defects And Contamination Control

This week’s episode of the new Cosmos was particularly interesting because Neil Degrasse Tyson filled in a part of the recent history of semiconductors and made a great point about ethics in science. I had just moved to the United States when Carl Sagan’s Cosmos first aired, and at the time I thought he connected all sorts of interesting dots. The new edition is even better. In this ... » read more

Amazing New Materials

Materials are fundamental to active photonics devices, and there were plenty of developments discussed at Photonics West 2014. Element Six was happy to talk about progress in making large single-crystal diamond and even larger polycrystalline diamond wafers. Carbon has a number of stable forms; diamond, graphite, nanotubes and amorphous carbon. The Element Six process uses CVD conditions in ... » read more

Amazing New Chips

Biosystems such as artificial organs, analytical systems and all sorts of component technologies were front and center at Photonics West 2014 in San Francisco.  At this annual celebration of all things optical there were hordes (27K !) of nerds and hundreds of papers. One of the challenges is just picking which papers to listen to, and then which to talk about. One eye-catching subject was ... » read more

A Milestone In Imprint Lithography

The announcement on Feb. 13 of the acquisition of the semiconductor arm of Molecular Imprints (MII) by Canon is a seminal event in the story of imprint patterning. Full disclosure requires me to mention that as a founding team member at Molecular Imprints, my founders shares are now worth something — but well short of not needing to write a free blog as a marketing exercise for my consulting ... » read more

Are Consortia Fair Competition?

This year’s Super Bowl was rather disappointing, but the NFL has been remarkably successful in creating an environment where all the teams have a path to success. This provides an interesting counter point to the discussion last time on the role of consortia such as IMEC. My point last time was that big problems require big solutions and cooperation between companies and even governments are... » read more

IMEC’s 30th Anniversary: A Consortium With Impact

In the history of semiconductor technology, one of the critical non-technology changes was the point when the biggest companies realized that they could not afford to do all the basic R&D. They agreed to collaborate in “pre-competitive” phase development through consortia such as IMEC and Sematech. IMEC is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and it’s interesting to recognize the signifi... » read more

Printed Electronics Gets Serious About Manufacturing

A leading indicator in the coming-of-age saga of a new technology is the enthusiasm to be in the business of supplying manufacturing infrastructure. To sell infrastructure, there needs to be a belief that there are several customers out there. At the recent IDTech conference for printed electronics, the transition to manufacturing was clear based on those who presented and some notable absences... » read more

More 3D Printing Applications

There is enough news about 3D printing that the Guardian newspaper’s Web site even has a special section on it. The list of demonstrated applications runs the gamut from guns to panties via custom bobble head dolls and organs. It's interesting to look at all these ideas and try and work out which really has potential. There are 3 categories for potential: Practical. Possible with inv... » read more

Lessons From

Patterning equipment uses software and needs software security. With that rather weak segue, I would like to discuss software projects, considering they are in the news at the moment. The stories about the rollout bring back fond memories for all of us of software projects that have gone horribly wrong. On the list of things that guarantee a project will miss deadlines, late c... » read more

3D Printing: Is This A Real Manufacturing Revolution?

As a patterning guy I have been watching the 3D printing story with real interest. Can it deliver or its it hype ? I think that it's an intriguing way to build prototypes and unique parts, but I'm unconvinced that it has any volume manufacturing role. In particular, I have a hard time seeing a business where you can make large numbers of copies of the same manufacturing tool – a key to a “h... » read more

← Older posts Newer posts →