Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 13


Plastic gold ETH Zurich has developed an 18-carat gold nugget based on plastic. Instead of traditional metallic alloy elements, ETH’s gold nugget consists of a matrix of plastic. Weighing five to ten times less than traditional gold, ETH’s plastic gold can be used in watches, jewelry, radiation shielding, catalysis and electronics. Gold is a chemical element used in a plethora of app... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 31


GaN-on-SOI power semis At the recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), Imec and KU Leuven presented a paper on a gallium-nitride (GaN) on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology for use in developing GaN power devices. With GaN-on-SOI technology, researchers have developed a 200-volt GaN power semiconductor device with an integrated driver and fast switching performance. ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 24


Textiles for energy storage Scientists at RMIT University developed a way to laser print waterproof textiles with graphene supercapacitors for embedded energy storage. The process takes three minutes to create a 10x10cm patch. The electronic textile is based on nylon coated with PDMS on one side for waterproofing. The other side was paint coated with graphene oxide and a binder to form thin... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 21


More speculative vulnerabilities Security researchers at the Graz University of Technology, KU Leuven, Cyberus Technology, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute point to two new speculative execution vulnerabilities related to Meltdown and Spectre. The first, which they dubbed ZombieLoad, uses a similar approach to Meltdown. After preparing tasks in parallel, the processor needs to discard th... » read more

System Bits: March 19


Nanomesh material could find use in sustainable applications Imec collaborated with KU Leuven to develop a nanomesh material made of a 3D structure with nanowires. This material could prove to make batteries more energy-efficient, while also improving catalytic converters and fuel cells, and making hydrogen production easier. The research team is touting the 3D nanometer-scale metal grid st... » read more

Next EUV Issue: Mask 3D Effects


As extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography moves closer to production, the industry is paying more attention to a problematic phenomenon called mask 3D effects. Mask 3D effects involve the photomask for EUV. In simple terms, a chipmaker designs an IC, which is translated from a file format into a photomask. The mask is a master template for a given IC design. It is placed in a lithography scan... » read more

Transistor Options Beyond 3nm


Despite a slowdown in chip scaling amid soaring costs, the industry continues to search for a new transistor type 5 to 10 years out—particularly for the 2nm and 1nm nodes. Specifically, the industry is pinpointing and narrowing down the transistor options for the next major nodes after 3nm. Those two nodes, called 2.5nm and 1.5nm, are slated to appear in 2027 and 2030, respectively, accord... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and test Four former employees at Applied Materials were charged by the U.S. for allegedly trying to steal the company’s own fab tool technology designs, according to a report from Bloomberg and others. The former employees were allegedly trying to sell the technology to a Chinese startup that would compete against Applied, according to the report. The former employees--Liang C... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 12


Photonic thermometers The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a new class of photonic thermometers. These chip-based thermometers measure temperature using light. They are resistant to electromagnetic interference and are self-calibrating. In the future, photonic thermometers could be buried into walls or sent into space. They could be used for chemical, pres... » read more