Issue Date: March 7, 2016
Trouble brews for chip makers as neon shortage looms
A looming shortage of neon gas threatens to create problems for manufacturers of semiconductors and the devices they power beginning in 2017.
Producers of the latest computer and cell phone chips use a laser-enabled photolithography technique to create transistors and other device features. Deep ultraviolet lasers, which contain neon gas as a buffer, have made it possible to pack an increasing number of transistors on chips that now boast features as small as 14 nm . . .
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