09 July 2015

Earth Girls Are Easy

And so is software. Hardware is difficult. You actually have to know something that you didn't make up from whole cloth. The laws of physics, for example.

Today brings conflicting reports. First, more WhatsApp incentive.
The proposal also embraces what European nations have called a "patent box" -- a lower business tax rate for income derived from intellectual property patents.

So, increase the incentive to make more WhatsApp, and less real output. Where will all those STEM graduates we're told we need find work? Making silly software, at best. Making dangerous software, London Whale and Li copulas and Russian Phisherman, at worst. Brilliant.


While, second, moving the needle in semiconductors. 10 and 7 nm become, may be, possible using, sorta kinda, standard technology.
It is uncertain whether the longer exposure times required by the new generation of EUV photolithographic stepper machines would make high-speed manufacturing operations impossible. Even the slightest vibration can undermine the precision of the optics necessary to etch lines of molecular thicknesses, and the semiconductor industry has been forced to build specialized stabilized buildings to try to isolate equipment from vibration.
[my emphasis]

Here's a factoid: the process uses germanium, the material used in the first transistors, which was abandoned for cheaper silicon decades ago. Back to the future? Use a material put in the dust bin before the millennials were even born? Would any of those WhatsApp geeks have a clue? Nope.

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