Smart connection

Published: Wednesday 30 April 1997

Computers could soon quadruple in speed, thanks to flowfill, a new way of manufacturing silicon chips. Plasma and Materials Technology, a New York-based company, claims to have found a method of increasing the amount of insulation between the microscopic wires that make up a computer chip. It will thus be possible to shrink their designs and increase the number of wires they use. Traditionally silicon-chip manufacturers use gases containing silicon dioxide to create insulation between a chip's circuits. When heat is applied to the chip, the gas hardens and forms an insulating covering. The new method applies the insulation when the gas is in a liquid state.

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