Table: How to Make Tomorrow's Chips

Building ever-faster semiconductors means shrinking transistors and linewidths. This will require:

LIGHT

...at extremely short wavelengths to make circuits smaller and thus pack more transistors on each chip.

MASKS

...that contain the circuit pattern to be "printed" on the silicon. Unlike conventional microlithography, light bounces along a series of...

MIRRORS

...that focus and reduce the pattern. Optical lenses won't do because they have trouble with small-wavelength light.The image is projected onto...

WAFERS

...covered with a "resist" material that toughens only where light strikes, thus duplicating the circuit pattern.

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