Top Tech 2012

IEEE Spectrum's prediction of the tech that will make news this year

graphic top tech 2012
Illustration: Carl DeTores

Predict the next century and you can fantasize; predict the coming decade and you can wax enthusiastic. But if you’re looking at just the next 12 months, you’d better keep your feet on the ground. That’s what we’ve done in this year’s tech survey: In choosing our subjects, we considered mainly the likelihood of their figuring prominently in the coming year’s tech headlines, not whether we thought—or hoped—the technologies themselves would succeed.

A case in point is extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography: It has been promoted for more than 15 years as the best way to sustain Moore’s Law, and this is the year it’s expected to reach the make-or-break point. We can’t tell you whether it will win or lose, but in either case, the result will be big news in Silicon Valley—and beyond.

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