Volume 94 Issue 10 | p. 14 | News of The Week
Issue Date: March 7, 2016

Trouble brews for chip makers as neon shortage looms

Delays in development of neon-free lasers means chip makers will continue to rely on older neon-enabled photolithography
Department: Business
News Channels: Materials SCENE
Keywords: photonics, neon, lasers, photo lithography, semiconductors, electronics

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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