Electronic Design

Reader Polls/Flashback

Flashback > 10 Years Ago

APRIL 2, 1992
The dependency of high-performancecomputer systems on large primary and secondary caches has pushed high-speed static RAMs into greater prominence in these systems. Although they're not the only systems that place demands on static RAMs for shorter access times and higher storage capacities, CISC- and RISC-based microprocessors are rapidly becoming the number one consumers of fast static memories, due to their reliance on caches to hold key information.

As each generation static RAM is introduced, the definition of "fast" seems to evolve along with the technology. Today's definition of fast, at less than 25 ns per memory access, wasn't even achievable 10 years ago when 55 to 70 ns was considered fast. For future-generation memory chips, that definition will fall into the 10- to 15-ns range. (Electronic Design report, p. 57)

Flashback > 25 Years Ago

MARCH 29, 1977
Monolithic IC technologies are expanding on a broad number of semiconductor fronts. Rival chip fabricators are outdoing each other by creating smaller chips with ever-increasing numbers of integrated elements. These, in turn, provide such performance features as lower power, higher operating speeds, improved temperature characteristics, and lower noise....

Probably the fastest moving technology today is I2L \[integrated injection logic\]. The processing difficulties, which made this bipolar technology's potential uncertain just two years ago, have been licked, and I2L is becoming useful for applications ranging broadly from wristwatches to microprocessors. Not only does I2L give better packing density than MOS, but it provides better performance as well. (News, p. 42)

Flashback > 40 Years Ago

MARCH 29, 1962
The quest for organic semiconductors appears to be following the tunnel-diode cycle. Both innovations made splashy debuts and stirred a flurry of activity. Further study led to reappraisals, and interest diminished.

Tunnel diodes survived industry-wide scrutiny and are doing well. The organic semiconductors are still in eclipse, waiting to be proven practical and, if practical, competitive with other electronic materials.

The potential advantages of organic semiconductors faded away when difficulties, traceable to the mystery of how they conduct, blocked development of useful devices. (Cover Story, p. 4)

More TV Poll Results:
As a group, we EEs are quite unlike the general television viewing public. The two most popular and lucrative types of programming, namely talk and sports, are the ones we enjoy the least. Also, we fail to connect with the fun and play of game shows, which did not fare too well either. Visit our Web site (www.elecdesign.com) to take other polls.

Television programming you enjoy the least

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