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Leading Chipmakers Eye EUV Lithography to Save Moore’s Law

Intel, TSMC, and other chipmakers weigh extreme ultraviolet lithography, which may be ready by 2018

14 min read
Photo of a EUV scanner
Putting EUV to the Test: This EUV scanner (an ASML NXE:3300B) is used to print chip features at a SUNY Polytechnic Institute facility in Albany, N.Y. The EUV light needed to expose wafers is created near the bottom of the scanner, on the side visible in the foreground of this photograph. The far end of the machine is attached to a “track” that coats the wafers before exposure and processes them once they are done.
Photo: IBM Research

Even after you don a bunny suit and get deep inside Fab 8, it’s hard to get a sense of scale. Rows upon rows of tall machines, known as tools, dominate this US $12 billion GlobalFoundries facility, built amid forest north of Albany, N.Y. Carriers containing silicon wafers zip overhead along ceiling-mounted tracks, like tiny inverted roller coasters. If your timing is good, you’ll be standing by a tool when one of those carriers descends to join it, moving a wafer along to the next step in the three-month-long process it takes to turn a dinner-plate-size disk of raw silicon into chips that could be used inside smartphones, personal computers, and servers. That’s right: Begin making a microprocessor here on New Year’s Day and it may just be finished by the start of spring.

imgInside the Machine: To generate EUV, pulses of CO2 laser light are sent into a vessel (top and middle) where they collide with tiny tin droplets to create plasma. This partially assembled EUV scanner (bottom) at ASML’s headquarters in Veldhoven, Netherlands, is one of the company’s more recent models.Photos: ASML

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Digital Resurrection Brings Star Trek Back to the Future

Visual effects involving deceased actors are increasingly commonplace

3 min read
5 scenes from Star Trek episodes

A montage of scenes from The Roddenberry Archive's efforts to preserve Star Trek.

OTOY/The Roddenberry Archive

The bridge of the original U.S.S. Enterprise could soon be a place you can visit—complete with some of the original cast.

Visual effects that include virtual “performances” by deceased actors, or that drastically de-age those still alive, are becoming commonplace. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story famously used such effects to replicate the late Peter Cushing’s performance as Grand Moff Tarkin. Now, the Roddenberry Archive is using similar effects to give audiences a like-new performance of Leonard Nimoy as Spock—if only inside the virtual world of a video game.

“The kid inside me had always dreamed of being Spock,” says actor Lawrence Selleck, who performs as Spock in the Roddenberry Archive’s restoration. “And now, suddenly, here I am with the Roddenberry Foundation putting on the best set of ears you can possibly imagine.”

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Protect Yourself and IEEE

October is cybersecurity month. Here are some tips on how to stay safe

1 min read

October is a cybersecurity month, but hackers and scammers are working hard every day. Cyber threats come through websites, emails, texts, and phone calls. The risks are financial loss, reputation damage and loss of intellectual property. We need to make every day a security day by being alert and by following security best practices, including:

  • Change your passwords often
  • Don’t reuse the same passwords
  • Be suspicious of any monetary requests
  • Look out for fraudsters impersonating IEEE leaders
  • Don’t fall for threats nor requests for immediate action
  • Always use a secondary method and contact information to verify a sender’s identity

Contact IEEE IT security team at security@ieee.org to report any suspicious activities or if you have questions or need help.

Modeling Thermal Management Systems for Electronics

Learn how to model conjugate heat transfer in electronic devices with COMSOL Multiphysics

1 min read
Comsol

The ability to dissipate heat is one of the most important features of modern electronic devices and is usually a limiting factor in the miniaturization of these devices.

COMSOL Multiphysics includes functionality for heat transfer through conduction, convection, and radiation. Its ability to treat conjugate heat transfer, including laminar and turbulent flow as well as surface-to-surface radiation, has proven to be of great importance for the design and optimization of thermal management systems in electronics. Its multiphysics modeling capabilities also enable the study of thermoelectric effects as well as thermal–structural effects, such as thermal expansion.

In this webinar, we will demonstrate how to create models and apps for conjugate heat transfer in electronic devices. We will also give a general overview of the software’s capabilities for multiphysics modeling, including heat transfer as one of the modeled phenomena.

Register now for this free webinar!

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