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Sunday, October 25, 2020

#450 Thirty years ago: October 1990

 The table of contents of the October ’90 issue of IEEE Electron Device Letters indicated strong interest in Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor (HBT) technology using complex ternary III-V compounds, AlGaAs in particular. It looks like the need to move HBT-based analog circuitry solidly into a GHz territory was well recognized at that time.


In terms of process technology, feature article published in October ’90 issue of the monthly trade journal Solid-State Technology demonstrated potential of MERIE (Magnetically Enhanced Reactive Ion Etching) in the definition of patterns smaller than 0.5 µm. Yes, 0.5 µm (or 500 nm, except that “nm” unit was at that time not used yet) pattern definition was an ultimate goal then.


Another feature article in Oct.’90 issue of SST emphasized integrated processing and cluster tools. The cluster tools market was predicted to hit $2.2 billion by 1994. I don’t know whether this prediction was correct in terms of timing and $$, but, as we all know, with time cluster tools  took over advanced semiconductor manufacturing for good.


Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 10:41 AM | Semiconductors | Link is a personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University. With over forty years' experience in academic research and teaching in semiconductor engineering he has a unique perspective on the developments in this technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

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