Library

 

Microtechnology

microtechnology, implications for advances in,
Previous Next

Microtechnology

SECRET

Starting with very modest beginnings by researchers at Bell Labs, transistor technology progressed from the crude audio-frequency devices of that era to the high-frequency transistors of the early 60's.
Along with this growth in transistor technology, an industrial complex based on a concept of all-solid-state electronics came into being. All manner of electronic components were redesigned, the new differing radically from the old primarily in size. See Figure 2. Number 24 wire (20 thousandths of an inch in diameter) gave way to one mil metalization (a metal layer one thousandth of an inch thick) for interconnection between devices.   One no longer manipulated circuits by hand but packaged them complete in containers such as the "flat pack" and the "TO-18 can." Figure 3 illustrates such packaging.

Picture

Figure 3. Various packages each holding a complete electronic circuit.   Flat packs are at upper left, the TO-18 at upper right.

This new technology had immediate applications in intelligence; size reduction obviously satisfied a pressing need to make surveillance devices much more unobtrusive. As solid-state technology provided circuit functions which could be packaged in increasingly high-density microminiature form, the projection of a million components per cubic inch was not out of the question from a size point of view. But if each of these components used a milliwatt of power there would be dissipated a kilowatt of heat in that same cubic inch-a situation undesirable to say the least. Heat dissipation per unit volume was what limited the useful application of microminiaturization. Thus the development of microelectronics led directly to that of micro
SECRET

27


Previous Next

Posted: May 08, 2007 08:19 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 01:04 PM