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Solid state [Technology 1998 analysis and forecast]

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Even as lithography further miniaturizes IC features, other advances are finessing device designs and the means of fabrication. Revisionist microprocessor architectures herald greater efficiency of instruction execution. Multilevel memory cells are doubling the storage density of flash chips. This year will see IC performance enhanced by the first implementations of copper interconnects. Beyond copper, engineers developing optical interconnections are waiting in the wings to show what their technology can do. Scientists find no dearth of potential lithographic tools for coming IC generations. To the contrary, industry leaders have several candidates to pick from: X-ray, projection electron-beam, extreme ultraviolet, and ion projection lithographies. But no technology has overcome all its obstacles and it is not at all clear which if any of the alternatives will emerge as the industry's tool of choice.

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Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 1 )