The University of Glasgow says that a researcher has found a way of improving the quality of laser chip processing that could result in Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than today’s.
The breakthrough technique reportedly involves the use of a “specially-optimized gas mixture based on chlorine” in the dry etching process. If it’s implemented on a mass production scale, the university says it would enable semiconductor manufacturers to implement higher-speed, lower-cost lasers in their microchips. The lasers would enable integrated circuits to process information at speeds up to 100 times faster than they can now, according to a story on the Herald Scotland web site.
The researcher, Dr. Rafal Dylewicz at the school’s Optoelectronics Research Group, was reportedly able to use the process to create extremely tiny structures on an indium phosphide semiconductor wafer.
“The complete production of optical devices depends upon a number of different processes,” Dylewicz said. “Based upon the developments in the dry etch process, we are one step closer to having a reliable process, hence one step closer to mass producing these important devices.”
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.