“TOP Machining Technology” – Chapter 1 (Cont.７)2022.10.25
The speed of evolution of “semiconductors”, one of the active components, is even more spectacular. Originally, a semiconductor refers to a substance that has intermediate properties between a conductor that conducts electricity well and an insulator that does not conduct electricity well, but in recent years, electronic circuits (semiconductor devices) themselves have come to be called “semiconductors”. Such semiconductors play roles such as storing information and calculating numerical values, and are embedded in smartphones, personal computers, medical equipment, automobiles, etc. to realize various functions. It is no exaggeration to say that semiconductors are the very brains of electronic devices, and that the performance of semiconductors determines the functionality and usability of final products. Since the performance of electronic devices depends on the processing power of semiconductors, so semiconductors have continued to evolve at an astonishing speed.
In 1965, Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel, proposed that the integration rate of semiconductors would double in 18 months (later revised to “doubling in 24 months”). Over the next half century, it is said that the number of transistors (one of the active components) configured on the area of a semiconductor has continued to increase as advocated. In other words, the size of transistors has halved in two years, so it is not a ratio of the speed of miniaturization of passive components. In this way, electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller at an astonishing speed, and they support every aspect of our daily lives behind the scenes. The reason why miniaturization is so important is that in addition to the primary purpose of making the final product smaller and lighter, in the case of electronic components, there is also the purpose to increase capacity and reduce power consumption.
Technological innovations in miniaturization and high lamination to realize miniaturization of semiconductors are still continuing today, and miniaturization has entered the world of nanometers (1/1,000,000,000 meters). Our convenient lives are based on mind-boggling minute technology.