Silicon...Beyond Silicon: Beginning of the Ed or End of the Beginning
SPACE AND NAVAL WARFARE SYSTEMS COMMAND SAN DIEGO CA
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In the early 1960s, at the beginning of the electronics revolution, silicon integrated circuits built their current dominance fundamentally and pervasively on tailor-made materials, staffing at the atomic level. Early development in thin-film deposition techniques, particularly chemical vapor deposition CVD and molecular beam epitaxy, led the way to accurate control over material constituents in atomic amounts, in order to form the active part of high-performance devices. In the early 1970s, our team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego, focused its vision to achieve a structure based on CMOS, an unknown and unproven technology at that time. One important attribute of that vision was the affordable implementation using devices with ever-increasing speed, wider bandwidth and lower power dissipation. During the eighties and nineties, CMOS became the mainstay technology and workhorse of the electronics revolution. It remains the dominant circuit configuration in todays systems because it offers low power, the largest signal-to-noise ratios, process simplicity, and flexibility in design. The advances resulting from the developments carried out in the context of our first visionary technological push have led to the investigation of SiGe on sapphire, a new vision for the next decade. Therefore, we will discuss the past results, as a prelude to the present, with compelling reasons to pursue our new vision of CMOS on SiGe on sapphire.
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment