Your livelier laptops, smarter smartphones and quicker tablets all improve, fundamentally, because the computer circuitry inside is always shrinking. Every two years or so, smaller features enable chipmakers to pack more transistors onto a chip – thereby improving performance.
But there’s a big problem with small: Features are becoming so tiny that existing technologies can’t reliably manufacture them. New production equipment – notably a lithography tool known as extreme ultraviolet (EUV) – promise better results, but have been frustratingly slow to materialize.
So two of the world’s biggest chipmakers, and the industry’s biggest equipment manufacturer – are investing $7.3 million in a Corvallis start-up called Inpria Corp. The 12-person company, which spun out of Oregon State University in 2007, has new chemical technology designed to improve chip lithography and enable EUV.
“We’re targeting a product for high-volume manufacturing in 2017,” said Andrew Grenville, Inpria’s chief executive. To read the entire Oregonian article, click here...