Over the past twenty-five years we have witnessed the transition from germanium-based, individual transistors in their hermetically sealed enclosures to VLSI silicon devices interconnected in modular packages containing more than 50,000 logic circuits or as many as 500,000 bits of random-access memory. During this progression, manufacturing facilities producing these modern products have become more complex and technologically more sophisticated than those of any other industry. This review traces these fast-moving changes as they have occurred in IBM, emphasizing the continuous expansion of manufacturing skills and disciplines and how these, in turn, have contributed to the development of today's products and their respective manufacturing systems.
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