30 March 2006

Sematech reports that researchers there have identified suitable electrodes for nMOS transistors with metal gates. Lack of electrode materials has been a major obstacle to implementation of metal gates, and therefore high-k gate dielectrics. However, nMOS is only half of the problem, and most reports suggest that pMOS electrodes are even more challenging.

Sematech is being very coy about exactly what metals they are using, saving the details for the VLSI Symposium in June. My guess would be some sort of tantalum or titanium nitride or silicate, as most of the recent literature has focused on those materials.

Posted 10:05 AM

The Oracle has spoken. Walt Mossberg says Google has competition, in the revamped I took a quick look, and definitely has some nifty features. In particular, the "refine your search" links actually work. (Faint, fall off chair.)

(Walt Mossberg is a Wall Street Journal columnist. Paid subscription may be required.)

Posted 09:31 AM

29 March 2006

Online chess sites are great. You can always find a game, with time controls ranging from minutes to days. The good ones are far better organized than almost anything in the offline chess world.

However, because they are so easy to use, the opposition can be a mixed bag. Established players have ratings, but new players all start with some arbitrary average number. Sometimes that number is too high, but sometimes it isn't... Which is how I found myself across the virtual board from one of the top women players in the world.

This is what they call a "good learning experience."

Posted 10:29 AM

28 March 2006

Could I have a show of hands? How many people have ever made a truly radical suggestion in a corporate brainstorming session? I didn't think so. Wired columnist Momus explains why not, and considers the creative impact of the Internet's battleground of ideas.

Posted 09:44 AM


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