Katherine's Blog

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

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March 29, 2002

It's Friday, and these are fun. Flash animations featuring XiaoXiao, a really angry stick figure. Even more fun if you're familiar with martial arts movie and game cliches.

Don't hesitate. These tend to vanish from servers without notice, no doubt because they're so popular that they chew up unreasonable amounts of bandwidth.

Link by way of MetaFilter.
posted 16:18 |

March 28, 2002

Michael Lewis's book about Wall Street, Liar's Poker, is one of the funniest and scariest business books I've ever read. He's got some great advice for people who want to write tell-all books about their ex-employers.

"There is a general rule about literary motives: They needn't be admirable; they must merely be disguised....Indignation at some personal slight, while not always a bad quality in a human being, is a terrible quality in a writer of a personal story, precisely because it is so difficult to hide."
posted 10:26 |

As if you needed an excuse to go to Hawaii, the 2002 Symposium on VLSI Technology will be held in Honolulu June 11-13. Topics include the limits of device scaling, the lithography roadmap, and next generation memory.
posted 10:02 |

March 27, 2002

Looking over the last few months of entries, I realized that I've more or less quit posting updates about my own writing. Apologies to anyone who's interested in the behind-the-scenes part. I'll try to do better.

Usually I have at least two fiction and at least two non-fiction projects going at any given moment. On the non-fiction side right now, I'm working on a market study of sub-0.25 micron lithography, and on an article on flat panel displays for Semiconductor Magazine. On the fiction side, my longer project is a historical fantasy set in Renaissance Venice.
posted 12:45 |

March 26, 2002

From the mailbag:
Applied Materials announced a new Process Module Technology Center, focused on 300-mm module development. The facility includes 39,000 square feet of cleanroom space, 193-nm lithography capability, and automated material handling.
posted 20:12 |
TRW has demonstrated a 1500-watt laser module for EUV lithography. While that's a step forward for the technology, don't read too much into it. The 1500 watts is used to excite a xenon target and create a plasma. The emissions from this plasma actually supply the photons for EUV exposure.

Yes, that process is just as inefficient as it sounds. By the end of the year, TRW hopes to integrate three such modules. The resulting 4500 watts of laser power will produce just 25 watts of EUV power. (Production lithography will require 50-150 W.) That's only about 0.6% efficiency before considering losses in the optical path or the efficiency of the input lasers. EUV production systems are likely to face quite substantial power and cooling costs, on top of large capital costs.
posted 17:10 |

March 25, 2002

Many corporate brochures, web sites, and other materials are written in a strange dialect of English called Marketese, the purpose of which is to sell sizzle in the hope that you won't look too closely at the steak. Most journalists recognize this, which is why cynicism is an occupational hazard of the profession. CIO Magazine's January issue offers a handy introduction to Marketese, complete with a full translation of a sample press release.
posted 22:29 |
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