by Nancy Owano:
When a global leader in providing equipment, services and software used for manufacturing semiconductors makes an announcement, industry players sit up and listen, as the technologies are going to impact market activity in devices such as smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels. Tuesday’s announcement from Applied Materials was big. The Santa Clara, California based equipment supplier announced the launch of its Endura Volta CVD Cobalt chip making machine. This is the only tool capable of encapsulating copper interconnects in logic chips beyond the 28nm node by depositing precise, thin cobalt films, said the company.
Applied Materials sets cobalt on path to future chips - [Link]
An excellent video about How Microchips are made!
How Microchips are made - [Link]
TUTORIAL: Arduino Hacks -Burning bootloader chips using an Arduino.
A lot of people start learning about microcontrollers with an Arduino but then want to build their own projects without having to sacrifice their dev board. Or maybe they want to make their own Arduino variant, that is compatible with the IDE. Either way, a common problem is how to burn the bootloader onto the fresh AVR chip. Since AVRs come blank, they need to be set up to be Arduino IDE compatible but to do that you need an AVR programmer (like the USBtinyISP).
The good news is that you can burn bootloader using your existing Arduino with only a little bit of work. There’s even a minitutorial on the arduino.cc site
This tutorial is an extention of that tutorial. First we’ll show how you can make a permanent bootloader-burner by soldering a 28-pin ZIF socket to a proto shield and use the PWM output line of the Arduino to generate a clock. This will let you ‘rescue’ many chips that have been set to the wrong type of oscillator, or change ones that are set from external oscillator (most Arduino bootloaders) to internal (such as the lilypad).
Arduino Hacks -Burning bootloader chips using an Arduino - [Link]
Engineering researchers at the University of Michigan have found a way to improve the performance of ferroelectric materials, which have the potential to make memory devices with more storage capacity than magnetic hard drives and faster write speed and longer lifetimes than flash memory. [via]
Fundamental discovery could lead to better memory chips – [Link]
Bunnie writes -
I love looking inside chips, and Flylogic takes some of the sweetest chip shots. bushing sent me some Wii chips to play with a few weeks ago, and Chris at Flylogic expertly decap’d and imaged them for me. I thought they were pretty neat, so here’s a couple of them to share with you… [via]
Wii chipshots! - [Link]