A number of technical and operational trends within the semiconductor manufacturing industry are strengthening the need for more effective advanced equipment solutions. These trends include: Development of Smaller Semiconductor Features. The development of smaller features, now as small as 20nm in production and 10nm in R&D, enables semiconductor manufacturers to produce larger numbers of circuits per wafer and to achieve higher circuit performance. Transition to 3D device structures. Foundries are adopting 3D FinFET transistors starting at 14/16 nm technology nodes to get improved performance and use less power in 1x technology nodes. Memory makers will move to 3D NAND and vertical structures for next generation NAND technology. Transition to 3D Integration Technology. Three-dimensional (3D) integration of active devices, directly connecting multiple IC chips, offers many benefits, including power efficiency, performance enhancements, significant product miniaturization, and cost reduction.
Potential electronics applications of graphene include ultrasmall transistors, superdense data storage, touchscreens and wearable electronics. In the energy field, potential applications include ultracapacitors to store and transmit electrical power as well as highly efficient solar cells. Some researchers argue that the greatest potential for graphene lay in its ability to conduct light as well as electricity. They believe that graphene can improve the efficiency of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and aid in the production of next-generation devices like flexible touchscreens, photodetectors and ultrafast lasers.
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