Material Advantage; January 1994; Scientific American Magazine; by Stix; 2 Page(s)
Electronics manufacturers have never fallen in love with gallium arsenide, a material that furnishes faster speeds than the industry's old staple, silicon. Even inveterate speed junkies such as chip makers are loath to give up billion-dollar investments in silicon semiconductor manufacturing facilities for a wholly alien fabrication process. The arrival in the marketplace of an alloy of silicon and germanium means they may not have to.
Workers at IBM and Analog Devices report that a collaboration between them has produced the first soon-to-be commercial device made from such an alloy. They were scheduled to provide details of their work at the International Electron Devices Meeting, held in early December. "This is a real technology road map to drive silicon for the next five, 10 or 15 years," says Bernard S. Meyerson, a fellow at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center and leader of the team that developed the manufacturing technique.