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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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This Startup Is Using AI to Help Keep Store Shelves Stocked

Wisy’s platform eases supply-chain issues by tracking inventory

4 min read
Phone screen with Wisy platform on black background

Store employees take a picture of a product on display using Wisy's platform, and the AI records information based on the photo.

Wisy Platforms

Shoppers are seeing more and more empty shelves, as stores around the world struggle to keep products stocked. The situation is the result of supply-chain issues caused in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. The product-unavailability rate increased from 5 percent to 15 percent during the past three years, according to the Consumer Brands Association.

To make it easier for stores to track inventory, startup Wisy developed an AI platform that uses image recognition to detect which products are out of stock or running low, as well as those that are available but haven’t yet been put on display.

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When Gamers Get Nasty

Researchers grapple with subjectivity as they develop aIgorithms to detect toxicity in online gaming

2 min read
A man wearing a headset is seen in a dark room playing video games
Getty Images

Online gaming is a chance for players to come together, socialize and enjoy some friendly competition. Unfortunately, this enjoyable activity can be hindered by abusive language and toxicity, negatively impacting the gaming experience and causing psychological harm. Gendered and racial toxicity, in particular, are all too common in online gaming.

To combat this issue, various groups of researchers have been developing AI models that can detect toxic behavior in real-time as people play. One group recently developed a new model, which is described in a study published May 23 in IEEE Transactions on Games. While the model can detect toxicity with a fair amount of accuracy, its development demonstrates just how challenging it can be to determine what is considered toxic—a subjective matter.

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Improved Dynamic Range for Pulse Detection

Achieving an unprecedented combination of dynamic range and sampling rate for pulse data acquisition

1 min read

Join Teledyne SP Devices for an introduction to our Pulse Detection Range eXtension (PDRX) technology. It achieves a dynamic range equivalent to 16-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) while exceeding the sampling rate supported by commercially available devices. It is ideal for pulse capture in applications such as mass spectrometry. Register now for this free webinar!

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