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New Lithography Makes Smallest SRAM Yet

A radically different chipmaking process could pave the way for future generations of microprocessors

3 min read

30 November 2009 A new type of lithography, which uses an electron beam to spark a chemical reaction, could provide a cheaper way to build the incredibly tiny transistors that the chipmaking industry will require in a few years. Researchers from Taiwan and the University of California, Berkeley, say they've made static random access memory (SRAM) that anticipates 16-nanometer chip features with a new process called nano injection lithography.

Hou-Yu Chen and his colleagues from National Nano Device Laboratories, in Taiwan, will present their work next month at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in Baltimore. They say their technique may provide an alternative to lithography that relies on extreme ultraviolet light (EUV), which still is beset by problems and could be extremely expensive.

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A Circuit to Boost Battery Life

Digital low-dropout voltage regulators will save time, money, and power

11 min read
Image of a battery held sideways by pliers on each side.
Edmon de Haro

YOU'VE PROBABLY PLAYED hundreds, maybe thousands, of videos on your smartphone. But have you ever thought about what happens when you press “play”?

The instant you touch that little triangle, many things happen at once. In microseconds, idle compute cores on your phone's processor spring to life. As they do so, their voltages and clock frequencies shoot up to ensure that the video decompresses and displays without delay. Meanwhile, other cores, running tasks in the background, throttle down. Charge surges into the active cores' millions of transistors and slows to a trickle in the newly idled ones.

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