Highlights from 2015
A collage of four pictures: 1) a woman typing at an old computer, 2) a young girl eating cookies, 3) a robot with a heart, 4) two engineers repairing wafer fabrication equipment
Jan 4, 2016

To help kick-off the new year, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite stories from 2015. These blog articles celebrated milestones like the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law and Lam’s own 35th anniversary and explored the wonders of technology – from the emerging 10 nm technology node and a sense of the scale of semiconductor manufacturing to multiple patterning, robotics, and a glimpse into the world of our engineers. As we move into 2016 and the opportunities ahead, we hope you’ll take few moments to enjoy our 2015 top picks.


Golden Anniversary of Moore’s Law

This April marks the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law, an insightful observation long used to benchmark the pace of semiconductor technology advancement. In his pivotal paper, “Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits” (Electronics, April 19, 1965), Gordon E. Moore predicted that integrated circuits would lead to such “wonders” as home computers and mobile devices, products we cannot imagine living without today.

Text says "Computer," with an image on the left (1965: black and white photo of early computers in an office) and on the right (2015: an iPad with applications)


Success at 10 nm – What Will It Take?

Achieving incredibly small dimensions for next-generation chips will involve new technologies with more stringent specifications. For one thing, greater control of process variability will be needed, according to Lam’s Rick Gottscho. In a Solid State Technology article in which experts discussed industry trends and drivers, Rick shared his views on this challenging requirement, particularly as the industry moves toward the 10 nm node.
Three silicon wafers on the left with patterning anomalies. An arrow in the middle points to three wafers where the anomalies have been removed.


A Sense of Scale: How Big Is a Billion?

We often hear there are over a billion transistors in a single microprocessor today, but how big is a billion? That number is so enormous that it’s hard to conceptualize. To put some perspective on this immense quantity, we share some different ways to visualize just how big a billion really is.
A young girl eating cookies


Tech Brief: Multiple Patterning Makes Miniaturization Possible

Have you ever wondered how everyday electronics, like smartphones and tablets, pack so much functionality into such relatively small and lightweight packages? If so, here’s your chance to learn a bit more about one of the key technologies behind making these complex devices so compact – multiple patterning – which was also one of the hot topics at the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium.

Showing the evolution of patterning in five steps, from left to right: 1) Print litho, 2) Etch mandrel, 3) Deposit and etch spacer, 4) Remove mandrel, and 5) Etch final pattern


A Glimpse Into the World of Engineers

Remember the curiosity you had about your first science experiment in school? Engineers feel that same excitement in their jobs every day at Lam – from developing cutting-edge robotics to new chemistries to the process chambers that help make the latest chips. Check out our video to hear for yourself what it’s like to work as an engineer at Lam.
Two engineers repairing high-tech wafer fabrication equipment.


Supporting Technology and Science Education – Through Robots!

Shared values of strategic thinking and teamwork – plus a love of robotics – have brought Lam employees and local high school teams together to participate in the FIRST Robotics program. Founder Dean Kamen, an American entrepreneur and inventor, created the aptly nicknamed “Varsity Sport for the Mind” in 1989 as a way to inspire and engage young people in challenging, mentor-based activities that focus on building science, engineering, and technology skills.
A robot opening its chest to show a heart. The text to the right of the robot says


Celebrating 35 Years of Innovation

Remember what technology looked like back in 1980? Fortunately things like those giant “brick” cell phones have evolved into small and powerful devices like the smartphones of today. Here at Lam Research, we’re proud to have been part of that journey by innovating microchip manufacturing for the past 35 years. As we wrap up our anniversary year and look back at how far we’ve come, we can’t help but wonder what the world will look like another 35 years from now.
A stylized version of the number 35, indicating 35 years of innovation at Lam Research