Search This Blog

Monday, July 14, 2008

MIT reports finer lines for microchips

Advance could lead to next-generation computer chips, solar cells, more
MIT researchers have achieved a significant advance in nanoscale lithographic technology, used in the manufacture of computer chips and other electronic devices, to make finer patterns of lines over larger areas than have been possible with other methods.
Their new technique could pave the way for next-generation computer memory and integrated-circuit chips, as well as advanced solar cells and other devices.
The team has created lines about 25 nanometers (billionths of a meter) wide separated by 25 nm spaces. For comparison, the most advanced commercially available computer chips today have a minimum feature size of 65 nm. Intel recently announced that it will start manufacturing at the 32 nm minimum line-width scale in 2009, and the industry roadmap calls for 25 nm features in the 2013-2015 time frame.
The MIT technique could also be economically attractive because it works without the chemically amplified resists, immersion lithography techniques and expensive lithography tools that are widely considered essential to work at this scale with optical lithography. Periodic patterns at the nanoscale, while having many important scientific and commercial applications, are notoriously difficult to produce with low cost and high yield. The new method could make possible the commercialization of many new nanotechnology inventions that have languished in laboratories due to the lack of a viable manufacturing method.
The MIT team includes Mark Schattenburg and Ralf Heilmann of the MIT Kavli Institute of Astrophysics and Space Research and graduate students Chih-Hao Chang and Yong Zhao of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Their results have been accepted for publication in the journal Optics Letters and were recently presented at the 52nd International Conference on Electron, Ion and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication in Portland, Ore.
Schattenburg and colleagues used a technique known as interference lithography (IL) to generate the patterns, but they did so using a tool called the nanoruler--built by MIT graduate students--that is designed to perform a particularly high precision variant of IL called scanning-beam interference lithography, or SBIL. This recently developed technique uses 100 MHz sound waves, controlled by custom high-speed electronics, to diffract and frequency-shift the laser light, resulting in rapid patterning of large areas with unprecedented control over feature geometry.
While IL has been around for a long time, the SBIL technique has enabled, for the first time, the precise and repeatable pattern registration and overlay over large areas, thanks to a new high-precision phase detection algorithm developed by Zhao and a novel image reversal process developed by Chang.
According to Schattenburg, "What we're finding is that control of the lithographic imaging process is no longer the limiting step. Material issues such as line sidewall roughness are now a major barrier to still-finer length scales. However, there are several new technologies on the horizon that have the potential for alleviating these problems. These results demonstrate that there's still a lot of room left for scale shrinkage in optical lithography. We don't see any insurmountable roadblocks just yet."
The MIT team performed the research in the Space Nanotechnology Laboratory of the MIT Kavli Institute of Astrophysics and Space Research, with financial support from NASA and NSF.

Extensive Research on the Global 3G Market

The upcoming market for 3g.
According to ""3G Market Forecast to 2010”, the latest research 3G technologies have spearheaded economical wireless broadband communications in both developed and emerging markets. These technologies are being rapidly deployed for fixed, portable and mobile uses. The factors that are encouraging the operators and countries to develop and deploy 3G includes high data speed, access to multimedia services, video conferencing, facilitation of mobility, corporate solutions and so on. The continuous enhancements in 3G technologies have given birth to advanced version like EV-DO Rev. A, HSDPA, and femtocells that provide outstanding capabilities, making 3G the preeminent choice.

There is wide scope of 3G markets in the developing countries with underdeveloped network infrastructure and low per capita income. These countries are continuously involved in their infrastructure development to reap the value of mobility.

The report provides extensive research on the global 3G market. It discusses the factors and trends that have led to its global deployment. It also provides an insight into the regional 3G market by technology and studies the key opportunity areas that have emerged due to the global take-up of 3G.

The report provides thorough analysis on various countries segmented into Key and Emerging markets, like Japan, Republic of Korea, the US, Germany, China, Brazil and India.

Key Findings

- The total number of 3G subscribers stood at around 614 Million at the end of 2007 and the number is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 34% in near future.
- CDMA2000 and WCDMA market is forecasted to account for 43% of the total worldwide wireless market by 2010.
- CDMA2000 technology will continue to dominate the 3G subscriber base; however, the future growth in WCDMA subscriber base (at a CAGR of 50.7% during 2008-2010) is anticipated to surpass that of CDMA2000.
- Japan accounts for the major chunk of 3G subscribers running on both technology platforms - WCDMA and CDMA2000.
- Growing at a CAGR of over 27%, 3G market for mobile handsets will supersede 475 Million units (including HSDPA handsets).
- The growing 3G market is expected to fuel demand for 3G-based Mobile TV market with subscriber growth forecasted at a CAGR of nearly 48% by 2012.
- Introduction of femtocells is expected to result in mass adoption of 3G technology across the world.

Key Issues & Facts

- What is the current and future global 3G market scenario?
- What are the trends in 3G market with respect to subscribers, technology and geographic segmentation?
- How is the technological development driving the 3G market demand?
- Why are the 3G operators focusing on infrastructure sharing?
- Which is the region that will see the major 3G market deployments across the world?
- What will be the future market size of 3G handsets?
- How is the femtocell market associated with 3G?
- Which are the markets or vendors flourishing due to the rapid uptake of 3G in global market?

Research Methodology Used

Information Sources
Information has been sourced from various credible sources like books, newspapers, trade journals, and white papers, industry portals, government agencies, trade associations, monitoring industry news and developments, and through access to more than 3000 paid databases.

Analysis Methods
The analysis methods include ratio analysis, historical trend analysis, linear regression analysis using software tools, judgmental forecasting, and cause and effect analysis.

MIT opens new 'window' on solar energy

Cost effective devices expected on market soon
Imagine windows that not only provide a clear view and illuminate rooms, but also use sunlight to efficiently help power the building they are part of. MIT engineers report a new approach to harnessing the sun's energy that could allow just that. The work, to be reported in the July 11 issue of Science, involves the creation of a novel "solar concentrator." "Light is collected over a large area [like a window] and gathered, or concentrated, at the edges," explains Marc A. Baldo, leader of the work and the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering. As a result, rather than covering a roof with expensive solar cells (the semiconductor devices that transform sunlight into electricity), the cells only need to be around the edges of a flat glass panel. In addition, the focused light increases the electrical power obtained from each solar cell "by a factor of over 40," Baldo says. Because the system is simple to manufacture, the team believes that it could be implemented within three years--even added onto existing solar-panel systems to increase their efficiency by 50 percent for minimal additional cost. That, in turn, would substantially reduce the cost of solar electricityOrganic solar concentrators collect and focus different colors of sunlight. Solar cells can be attached to the edges of the plates. By collecting light over their full surface and concentrating it at their edges, these devices reduce the required area of solar cells and consequently, the cost of solar power. Stacking multiple concentrators allows the optimization of solar cells at each wavelength, increasing the overall power output.
An artist's representation shows how a cost effective solar concentrator could help make existing solar panels more efficient. The dye-based organic solar concentrator functions without the use of tracking or cooling systems, greatly reducing the overall cost compared to other concentrator technologies. Dye molecules coated on glass absorb sunlight, and re-emit it at a different wavelengths. The light is trapped and transported within the glass until it is captured by solar cells at the edge. Some light passes through the concentrator and can be absorbed by lower voltage solar cells underneath. Alternatively, the partially transmissive concentrator can function as a window. Graphic not to scale

20GB Xbox 360 price cut.

As per expectation , What would E3 week be without a price drop announcement? Hoping to stir more sales for its Xbox 360, Microsoft has finally announced the long-anticipated price drop for the standard 20GB Xbox 360 SKU while introducing a new model. The new price tag brings the 20GB down $50 to $299.99, making the once-premium 360 SKU now ever-closer to the price of the industry-leading Nintendo Wii.

Weekend flyers of all major consumer electronics resellers confirmed what had been widely reported last week: Microsoft’s hard drive-equipped Xbox 360 will get cheaper: A $50 price reduction means that the device now costs $299instead of $349, which means that the console is now $100 cheaper than Sony’s 40 GB PS3 and just $50 more expensive than Nintendo’s Wii ($249). But on a closer look, it isn’t a simple price reduction of the Xbox 360, it is a marketing move.

Microsoft press release states that the $299 price is only available “while supplies last.” In fact, the current 20 GB Premium model will be replaced with a 60 GB Premium model, which will “offer triple the storage for the same price”. In plain English: The Premium will cost $349 as soon as supplies of the 20 GB version are depleted. Sony used a similar strategy to phase out its 60 GB PS3 model: The $599 price was dropped by $100 to $499 to clear the inventory and make room for the $80 GB model, which initially sold for $599 and is priced at $499 today.

Microsoft said the prices for the entry-level Xbox 360 Arcade and the 120 GB Xbox 360 Elite remain unchanged at $279 and $449. While the 20 GB price drop as well as the announcement of a 60 GB version do not arrive unexpected, Microsoft’s decision to leave the price of the (Pro) Premium console unchanged is. Microsoft has lost a lot of momentum in recent months and the Xbox 360 was the second worst selling game console in May: 186,600 units were just slightly ahead of the Playstation portable, which sold 182,300 units. Sony sold 208,700 PS3s and Nintendo 675,100 Wiis and 452,600 portable DS consoles. Analysts noted that Microsoft is facing tough times especially in Europe and Asia.

About one year ago, we noted that Microsoft’s efforts to bridge the gap between the PS3’s 1080p high-def gaming capabilities and Nintendo’s social gaming success with a game console that is everything to everyone may push the Xbox 360 into an identity crisis. Game franchises such as Halo may not be enough to clearly define the Xbox 360 and what benefits it offers to which interests.

Plus, Microsoft’s bridging-the-gap-strategy is a so-so success. So far, there have been more social games for the Xbox 360, but no blockbuster and there is no intuitive controller available that could compete with the Wii. Compared to the PS3, the Xbox 360 still lacks a Blu-ray drive and will have to rely on an upscaling DVD player, Microsoft said. As the months pass by, this may be a big disadvantage for the Xbox 360 as HD movies become more popular and more people are thinking about purchasing a Blu-ray player: The PS3 is believed to single-handedly have decided the HD format war in Blu-ray’s favor and it is no secret that most PS3 owners watch Blu-ray movies on their console. Xbox 360 owners are stuck with DVD.

Suddenly, the Xbox 360 begins to look old. Microsoft needs to update the console to the speculated mid-cycle upgrade “540” and drop the price to $299 permanently. A 60 GB $349 model may not cut it.

Find here

Home II Large Hadron Cillider News