Around the Web Index
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- Critics of US policy on semiconductor manufacturing exports to China complain
that the policy impedes sales by US companies without having a noticeable
impact on China's access to manufacturing technology. A new
report from the General Accounting Office agrees that a reassessment is
long overdue. (PDF file. Adobe
Acrobat Reader required.)
- How big is the MEMS market? No one seems to know, but Steven Walsh offers
a good overview at the SEMI site.
- The US International Trade Administration's Microelectronics
page is full of useful statistics, plus information about import tariffs,
trade policy, and more.
- Polishing slurries, advanced resists, and low-k dielectrics place more pressure
on advanced materials suppliers. SEMI's Microelectronic
Materials Strategy Symposium (M2S2) looked at the opportunities, and risks,
in this increasingly important sector.
Research's annual 10 Best survey ranks semiconductor manufacturing equipment
suppliers based on equipment performance and customer service.
Directories and databases
- The Delphion patent
server offers free searches of US Patents, with moderately priced pay-as-you-go
and subscription packages for downloads and international searches.
- SEMI's page includes a
directory of SEMI members, registration information for upcoming events, and
History of technology
- The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has a huge Chip
Collection, much of which is online. Lots and lots of photos, ranging
from Texas Instruments lab notebooks to construction analyses by ICE.
- The Nobel Prizes celebrate their centennial in 2001. Online, the Nobel
e-Museum includes information about current and past laureates, the history
of the prizes, and more.
- PBS surveys the history
of the transistor, from the discovery of the electron to Intel's Pentium
processors. Aimed at non-experts, with plenty of illustrations and interesting
- Who are the entrepreneurs? A new
study from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation takes one of the first
in-depth looks at the earliest stages of new business formation, before even
magazines like Inc. are paying attention.
- Congratulations to EE Times on 30 years of outstanding technology
coverage. The magazine's special anniversary issue, "The Art of Change,"
looks at possible
disruptive technologies for the next 30 years. The individual articles
are all excellent. Highly recommended.
- The Lemelson-MIT Awards
include the world's largest prize for innovation and invention. The Awards'
site is overflowing with resources for inventors, from a comprehensive collection
of links to an intellectual property handbook.
- What do integrated circuits look like? IBM's
Microelectronics Gallery is full of images at many different scales, from
the manufacturing fab down to individual transistors. An annoying pseudo-museum
interface makes finding specific images difficult, especially for low-bandwidth
- Many scientists trace their interest to their first look through a microscope.
The Boston Museum of Science's SEM
page opens the magical world of the very small to anyone with a browser.
- MIT can be a serious place, with lots of people working very hard. The IHTFP
Hack Gallery commemorates somewhat less serious moments. And no, the page
has nothing to do with breaking into computers.
- Are you taking your work too seriously? Ted
Goff's business and safety cartoons poke gentle fun at corporate life.
- There's more on those chips than transistors! The Silicon
Zoo reveals the exotic fauna and other doodles hiding in the margins of
- What's it like to design a leading edge IC? SiliconValley.com has
a seven-part series on Bay Microsystems' quest
for a 10-Gbit network processor.
- Does your company have an emergency
management plan? This Federal Emergency Management Agency guide can help
you create one.
- A recent article in Compound Semiconductor discusses the need for
and standardization in photonics manufacturing.
- Telework is one of the most dramatic examples of technology-driven workplace
change. Last year's US Department of Labor symposium
on telework is one of the few systematic studies of the phenomenon.
- For the last ten years, UC Berkeley's Competitive
Semiconductor Manufacturing program has studied the technology, management,
and business practices that set the world's best semiconductor plants apart.
- For ASML's Analyst Day 2003, the company put together a good series of overviews
of their lithography
technology and roadmap. Of general interest, despite the pro-ASML bias.
- From EETimes, a special supplement on the future
of semiconductors. The discussion of the limits
of CMOS is especially noteworthy.
- Cyberfab.net bills itself as an "Accelerator for Semiconductor Innovation."
I don't know about that, but the site does have a plethora
of resources for fab managers and anyone else trying to run an efficient
- Much of the content on corporate sites is either sanitized marketing speak
or highly specific product information. Still, a few gems are hidden in the
mud. IBM's Blue
Logic Showcase is an accessible introduction to advanced chip manufacturing.
- More than 20 years after it was developed, atomic
layer deposition is gradually finding production applications. Semiconductor
International offers a useful overview of the technology.
- As resolution enhancement technologies complicate mask making, the relationship
and wafer CD variation becomes critical to CD control. In the September
2001 edition of Nikkei Electronics Asia, KLA-Tencor's Moshe Preil discusses
- Java-based lithography
simulation tools at UC Berkeley can simulate scenarios ranging from basic
projection lithography to phase shift mask edge effects.
- Manufacturing equipment generates vast amounts of trace data, so much that
it usually seems like too much trouble to dig through it all. Jon
Goldman offers some compelling reasons why the effort is worthwhile.
- Sematech recently published a set of updated e-diagnostics
guidelines, together with a guidebook for e-diagnostics implementation.
- The Intelligent
Micromachine Initiative at Sandia National Laboratories has a large image
and video gallery, but also good overviews of MEMS technology and devices.
- The International Technology
Roadmap for Semiconductors projects the semiconductor industry's challenges
and technology requirements for the next 15 years.
the online version of Nikkei Electronics Asia, offers market and technology
news for the electronics industry. The site's emphasis on Japan and the Asia-Pacific
region gives it a different perspective from US-based media.
- Yahoo's Semiconductor
Full Coverage page is a good index to integrated circuit web sites, from
low level tutorials to current news.
- Scientific American has an interesting nanotechnology
"channel," collecting all the magazine's coverage of the subject
in one place. A good place to start if you're wondering what all the hype
- The University of Reading has a nice
reference page on optical properties of various materials. Even better,
the page discusses the theory of absorption, reflection, and other optical
- Semiconductor industry
jargon can be intimidating to the uninitiated, with unpronounceable acronyms
flying in all directions. Intersil's Lexicon navigates through the alphabet
electronics promise flexible, low cost circuits for displays and other
disposable applications. Earlier this year, the IBM Journal of R&D devoted
an issue to these emerging materials.
- The Los Alamos National Laboratory
e-print archive proves that scientific collaboration remains one of the
most important uses of the Web. The archive emphasizes physics and mathematics
- The Chemicool
online periodic table has been around for a while, but remains the best
online source for elemental data.
Reference Data from NIST is a handy source for fundamental physical constants.
- Though heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) have achieved commercial
viability, information about HBT
device processing and modeling is scattered throughout the technical literature.
Anssi Hovinen provides a comprehensive reference in his doctoral thesis for
the Helsinki University of Technology.
- A recent article in Nikkei Electronics Asia discusses the most common MEMS
applications, with photos of many of them.
- The web is full of free (or cheap) software packages for site owners. Many
of these are the next step up from the free offsite services that also proliferate
on the web. Movable Type,
for instance, gives the site owner more control than Blogger and other weblog
- Online journals (also known as weblogs, or blogs) are everywhere, with content
ranging from sublime to ridiculous. Blogger.com
helped create the form, with free tools that anyone can use.
- Jakob Nielsen's work
on web usability has heavily influenced the design of this site.
CGI Resource Index has a wide range of freeware and shareware scripts
to make web sites jump through hoops, including several scripts used on this