microtechnology, implications for advances in,
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of that handbook is reproduced in Figure 1. It shows the power drain in milliwatts of a VHF superheterodyne receiver projected from 1965 to a date in 1970. The rapidly falling curve was based on estimates of the improvement that could be made in industrial technology over this span of time if the effort received sufficient emphasis.   Up to 1968 it indicated a reduction in the power required for this representative complex receiver from as much as 50 mw to as little as 0.5 mw, two orders of magnitude.   It is extremely gratifying to be able to state that this is in fact the nature of the progress that has been made. On the basis of the 1965 findings CIA approached the Advanced Research Projects Agency with a proposal to sponsor accelerated micropower development, and ARPA agreed to divert substantial funding to the program.   An arrangement was established with three selected contractors under which the government would contribute fifty percent of the costs.   Calculations at that time showed that power efficiency could theoretically be improved by seven or eight orders of magnitude, while only three to five were necessary for the results desired in many advanced intelligence devices. Improvement by five orders of magnitude would permit important systems to operate on ambient power, that is on the light, heat, radiation at radio frequencies, etc. available in the environment.
One of the keys to microtechnology is the practice of building electronic devices and circuits with thin deposits or diffusions of conducting or semiconducting material on the surface of wafers, but progress in minimizing the size of these requires a corresponding maximizing of precision in the fabrication. We shall not treat here the details of improvements in the industrial processes-photo-etching, controlled deposition, surface cleanliness control, etc.-that are being achieved. Broadly, the requirement is for advances in the following fields of solid-state technology:
Fabrication of very small active devices (notably transistors) through improved topography, masking, etc.
Low-parasitic isolation and interconnection (the elimination of unwanted by-product frequencies in the circuits)
Surface characteristics
Structure control
Ultimately, development of new materials.
Micro Transistors
The field of microelectronics was born with the advent of the transistor in the early 1950'x. Operating voltages dropped, the size of devices became significantly smaller, and there was motivation to reduce the over-all size of most passive electronic components also.


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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:19 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 01:05 PM