Gordon Moore Moore's Law

“The future of integrated electronics is the future of electronics itself. The advantages of integration will bring about a proliferation of electronics, pushing this science into many new areas. Integrated circuits will lead to such wonders as home computers–or at least terminals connected to a central computer–automatic controls for automobiles, and personal portable communications equipment. The electronic wristwatch needs only a display to be feasible today.”

–Gordon Moore, Electronics, April 1965

Producing smaller, faster, lower-cost chips requires light sources with increasingly shorter wavelengths of light. DUV light sources produce light with wavelengths of 248 nm or 193 nm; EUV light sources produce light with a wavelength over a full order of magnitude shorter of 13.5 nm.

What does this have to do with Cymer? That phone, tablet, or phablet you’re holding requires an integrated circuit (IC) that contains the tiny transistors referred to in Moore’s Law. Chip manufacturing requires an optical lithography light source, and light sources are Cymer’s specialty. Our specific areas of expertise are Deep Ultraviolet (DUV) and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) light sources.

How did Moore’s Law impact the consumer electronics business model? Computer prices dropping by half every two years became the driving force of computing, technology, and semiconductor progress and innovation. Smaller, faster, better may seem like a foregone conclusion in today’s market, but that wasn’t always the case.

The progression of cellular phones from the brick-like Motorola DynaTAC to the latest, sleekest smartphones? That’s Moore’s Law at work. Back in 1984 that DynaTAC would set you back $4000 (equivalent to roughly $9000 today). And the battery life? A fleeting 30 minutes. Smaller, faster, more efficient ICs are what make today’s mobile phones feature rich and, by comparison, much less expensive. The same goes for activity monitors, tablets, HD and 3D TVs, learning thermostats, and all the other devices you want to replace every couple of years.

Cymer continuously improves its light source performance, enabling the application of our light sources to pattern ever smaller circuitry and pushing the limits of Moore’s Law.