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UPDATE: Germany's DRAM Bailout Hits a Snag as Qimonda Goes Bankrupt

DRAM maker files for insolvency, while the German government mulls a bigger rescue

2 min read

28 January 2009—In the high-stakes and highly subsidized memory-chip industry, rival manufacturers and their governments anxiously await Germany’s next move after Qimonda, a key player in the country’s prized Dresden semiconductor center, declared insolvency last week. An end to Qimonda, the world’s fifth-largest manufacturer of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips, would certainly weaken if not cripple Europe’s largest semiconductor cluster, significantly reducing the region’s clout and competitiveness in the global chip business.

As if the German government didn’t have enough problems bailing out banks and propping up carmakers squeezed by the global financial and economic crisis, now it needs to make a tough call on whether to funnel still more taxpayer money into a financially risky but industrially strategic high-tech business.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

1 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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