Researchers will reveal some exotic technologies of the not-so-distant future at the upcoming International Electron Devices Meeting in Washington, D.C.
This year’s highlights include TRW’s high-speed 69 GHz transistor, which uses an expensive semiconductor material called indium phosphide instead of silicon.
Intel plans to show a 16Mb memory chip running at 1.06 GHz and using technology that may one day push the clock frequencies of microprocessors beyond 1 GHz.
Seiko Epson will present an active-matrix flat-panel display built from a light-emitting plastic called phenylene vinylene. And researchers from Philips Semiconductors will demonstrate a new CCD image sensor that packs in 6 million pixels – 4 million pixels more than today’s high-end digital cameras.
Much of the discussion at the December conference will focus on the challenges researchers face in trying to make smaller and smaller transistors. The industry may be approaching the point where some of these problems will become insoluble.
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