Researchers at Princeton Universityreported that they have found a way to literally melt away miniscule defects in computer chips, a discovery that could help manufacturers build more powerful processors.
As chips get smaller and smaller, tiny defects in shapes, lines and dots that are etched into them can ruin performance. By getting rid of the tiny flaws, chip makers could create even smaller and more powerful processors, which, in turn, could mean smaller and more powerful devices. The process, which the inventors call Self-Perfection by Liquefaction, is designed to melt the structures on the chip in a fraction of a millionth of a second— just long enough for the resulting flow of liquid to be guided so it re-solidifies into the proper shapes.
The next step for the Princeton researchers will be to try out this new technique on 8-in. wafers.
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