Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Feb 2006 17:55 UTC, submitted by Adurbe
IBM Scientists at IBM say they have figured out how to produce smaller and more powerful microchips than previously thought possible. It is hoped IBM's announcement at San Jose on Monday will mean the creation of miniscule microprocessors which will save the IT manufacturing sector billions of dollars. The breakthrough revolves around the distance between the circuit-lines chip makers must 'draw' onto the surface of a computer processor. IBM scientists declared they can now draw lines on silicon much closer together than ever before.
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all about wave theory.
by transputer_guy on Tue 21st Feb 2006 21:34 UTC
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When I started out in semiconductors in 79, it was obvious to everyone you couldn't draw anything smaller than the wavelength of light if you use light to do the patterning. At that time 3u was quite a few wavelengths and the coming 1u was expected to be the point when ebeam would take over then followed by xrays. many paprs were published then on ebeam as the succesor to optical patterning. Well we all got it wrong, 1st patterns got smaller than 1 wavelength, then partial, so then deeper uv light or shorter wavelength with special optical materials.

I can barely understand how this works now but an understanding of fourier analysys helps. Basically what is drawn is not what is desired, instead you draw anti features that will be distorted by the processing in such a way that the end result will look like the desired result. A bit like writing backwards with a highly distorted mirror to complicate things.

Still its amazing to those in the industry too. Once we have to use xrays then Moore's law will get expensive.

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