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EUV Lithography Finally Ready for Chip Manufacturing

This long-awaited technology will extend the life of Moore’s Law

6 min read
Photo: IMEC
Silicon Savior: ASML’s extreme ultraviolet lithography machines are being installed all over the world in preparation for the technology’s long-awaited debut in chipmaking.
Photo: IMEC

“A fab is like an iceberg,” someone tells me. I can’t tell who because we’re all covered head to toe in clean-room garb. A tour of GlobalFoundriesFab 8 in Malta, N.Y., certainly reinforces that analogy: We’ve just come up from the “sub-fab,” the 10 meters of vertical space under the floor, where pipes and wires snake down from each semiconductor-manufacturing tool above to a set of automated chemical handlers, water analyzers, power conditioners, and—in the case of the unit I’ve come to see—kilowatt-class lasers.

The laser system takes up 15 to 20 square meters out of perhaps 80 square meters of the floor space required for a single machine. About halfway through a six-week assembly process of mind-bending complexity, the equipment making up the tip of the iceberg is a house-size agglomeration of shiny metal tubes, opaque chambers, and wiring. A half dozen bunny-suited technicians are moving around the behemoth, probing and connecting things in a carefully choreographed procedure.

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Remembering LED Pioneer Nick Holonyak

He received the 2003 IEEE Medal of Honor

3 min read
close-up portrait of man wearing glasses and suspenders holding something between his fingers

Professor Nick Holonyak, Jr., inventor of the light-emitting diode, holds a part of a stoplight that utilizes brighter, current version LED's designed by students of his.

Ralf-Finn Hestoft/Getty Images

close-up portrait of man wearing glasses and suspenders holding something between his fingersNick Holonyak, Jr. holds a part of a stoplight that utilizes a newer LED designed by his students. Ralf-Finn Hestoft/Getty Images

Nick Holonyak Jr., a prolific inventor and longtime professor of electrical engineering and computing, died on 17 September at the age of 93. In 1962, while working as a consulting scientist at General Electric’s Advanced Semiconductor Laboratory, he invented the first practical visible-spectrum LED. It is now used in light bulbs and lasers.

Holonyak left GE in 1963 to become a professor of electrical and computer engineering and researcher at his alma mater, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He retired from the university in 2013.

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Video Friday: StickBot

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

2 min read
An image of a robot made of a small sticks tied together with a tangle of colorful wires, batteries, actuators, and electronics

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

IROS 2022: 23–27 October 2022, KYOTO, JAPAN
ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals: 4–5 November 2022, LOS ANGELES
CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Introduction to Peer-to-Peer Streaming and GPU Processing in Data Acquisition Systems

Learn about the basics and benefits of peer-to-peer streaming and GPU post-processing in data acquisition systems

1 min read
Teledyne

Real-time digital signal processing is a vital part of many of today's data acquisition systems, and affordable graphics processing units (GPUs) offer a great complement to onboard field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

Join Teledyne SP Devices for an introductory webinar about the basics and benefits of peer-to-peer streaming and GPU post-processing in data acquisition systems.

Register now for this free webinar!

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