Electronic Design


Flashback > 10 Years Ago

JULY 23, 1992
Let me explain why i believe software is the future. After nine years at Sun, I learned that there is no such thing as a pure hardware business. There never really has been. Even a simple VGA card design includes significant software programming. It's no secret that the hardware part of the business has become a commodity game. The winning hardware companies are rapidly differentiating themselves through software. Competition for software applications is the most heated it's ever been in the computer industry. —Carol Bartz, Autodesk CEO and president, addressing the A/E/C Systems Show, Dallas, Texas. ("What They're Saying," QuickLook, p. 40)

Flashback > 25 Years Ago

JULY 19, 1977
Better ways to image, etch and dope silicon wafers must become commercially feasible to increase integrated-circuit densities and decrease costs, according to two industry executives.

The densest circuits now in development—65-kbit RAMs with line widths of 2.5 microns—represent a limit to present imaging techniques, says Brian Dale of GTE Laboratories in Waltham, MA, "since at these dimensions we are beginning to approach the wavelength of light, and diffraction effects prevent higher resolution."

Dean Toombs, engineering director of the Semiconductor group and assistant vice-president at Texas Instruments Inc. in Dallas, agrees that optical photolithographic methods will have to be replaced for advances in semiconductor densities to continue for more than the next five to seven years. (News Scope, p. 21)

Flashback > 40 Years Ago

JULY 19, 1962
The deposition of metal foil on flexible plastic substrates is being studied at a new laboratory in the hope of developing electronic circuitry that can be distributed over weather balloons.

The laboratory is a joint effort of G.T. Schjeldahl Co. and St. Olaf College, both of Northfield, Minn. Their aim is to set up an institute devoted to the study of distributed-mass or thin-film electronic circuitry.

...The Schjeldahl Co. says it already has developed a nonballasted superpressure balloon that will float at any predetermined altitude for many days. The company's goal is to develop an almost weightless telemetry system, or one whose parts are distributed over the surface or diffused throughout a balloon without adding appreciably to the weight of the balloon. (Washington Report, p. 20)

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