Katherine's Blog

Obsessions: Thin films, writing, small business, and random web flotsam

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March 8, 2002

You know, in the years that I've been going to technical conferences, I have never once seen a university present a paper. Until now. Semiconductor Business News reports that MIT presented a paper on an experimental lithography method at the SPIE Microlithography conference. Nowhere in the article does the reporter mention the names of the researchers, so I can only conclude that the Institute dragged itself (or maybe just one building) all the way out to California to present this paper.

The author also doesn't mention the title of the paper or the SPIE abstract number. He quotes researchers with very positive things to say about the technology, but fails to mention their names. Extremely sloppy reporting, far below the standard I would expect from SBN.

I'm ranting about this because the technology actually sounds pretty interesting. It uses liquid immersion, probably similar to the oil immersion techniqe used to improve resolution for optical microscopy. I'd like to know more, but finding more details from so little will be difficult.
posted 18:08 |

The latest report from the Hynix-Micron negotiations has Hynix CEO C.S. Park in the US for talks. Back home, Korea's Deputy Prime Minister scoffed at the idea that Hynix might be able to survive on its own. He's probably right. Still, the fact that he commented at all says an awful lot about the close relationship between government and business in Korea.

For comparison, US officials said nothing about Enron until after the company collapsed. Enron officials asked the Treasury Department to speak to creditors, and were told that it would be inappropriate for Treasury to do any such thing. US officials have had nothing to say about the ongoing HP-Compaq merger debate. The government did get involved in ASML's purchase of SVG, but only because SVG's Tinsley subsidiary is a defense contractor.
posted 17:51 |

Just another day on the river. Kids, don't try this at home.
posted 13:04 |

March 7, 2002

From the mailbag:
Applied Materials claims that the company's new NanoSEM 3D Metrology System allows customers to inspect and measure the top and sides of sub-100 nm generation features printed with 193 nm lithography.
posted 12:25 |
Earlier this week, ACM Research announced a joint development agreement with LSI Logic. Integrating low-k dielectrics with copper has proven to be extremely difficult because of mechanical damage during CMP. LSI hopes to use ACM's copper electropolishing technology instead of CMP at the 90 nm generation.
posted 11:55 |
Thanks to flash memory, Moore's Law economies of scale are starting to threaten the hard disk drive market. Flash prices are dropping at a rate of 50% per year, while cost per megabyte for hard disks is relatively stable. The easiest way to reduce hard disk cost per megabyte is to increase capacity, but demand for large drives appears to be saturating.

At this rate the drive industry, a well-known case study for the impact of disruptive technology, may be in danger of getting disrupted right out of business.
posted 10:44 |

March 5, 2002

Excellent column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Congressman Dennis Kucinich argues that the war on terrorism threatens to become a war on American values.

"We cannot justify a government which takes from the people our right to privacy and then assumes for its own operations a right to total secrecy."
posted 17:06 |

A persuasive article in the March issue of Technology Review argues that Wal-Mart has a bigger impact on corporate productivity than Microsoft, Intel, or other technology innovators. If you want to sell to Wal-Mart, for example, your order fulfillment infrastructure had better be able to talk to their purchasing infrastructure. Wal-Mart's US$4 billion investment in supply chain systems has probably influenced another US$40 billion in investments by their suppliers.
posted 11:24 |
Article done and shipped. Brain melted. But the nice thing about being self-employed is that I can take a mental health break whenever I need one. Like today. Or maybe tomorrow, since I've got a four day pile of email that I really should get through first.
posted 09:44 |

March 4, 2002

Finally! I'm writing this while I wait for the draft of my next article to print, before I settle down to create the third and hopefully final draft. This article--about organic electronics--has been a real bear. The content is tough to begin with, and the writing has been like slogging through concrete. I'm mostly happy with what I have now, but it's been much more painful, and time-consuming, than I would like. Sigh...
posted 17:25 |
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