Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chips Grab Mainstream Headlines

I was surprised and excited to see a chip-process development featured on the front page, above the fold, in the San Jose Mercury News. This is "the newspaper of silicon valley", as they say. The headline gushed Chip advance biggest in 40 years.

It's about successes announced by Intel and IBM to fabricate metal-gate transistors with "high-K" dielectric. This is good news, which hopefully will enable us to continue to follow Moore's Law.

But it doesn't hit me that this is the biggest development in 40 years. Is this triumph over materials significantly different from figuring out how to to use Copper interconnect, or "low-K" interconnect isolation? Those were both hard manufacturing problems that the process wizards solved in the last decade. Maybe it was a slow news day. ;-)

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