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Hitachi’s introduction of high-speed CMOS SRAM--the 4K 6147 and the 16K 6116--in the late 1970s demonstrated, for the first time in the industry, that CMOS could match NMOS in terms of performance while maintaining its low-power feature. All the other device types, such as MPUs, DRAMs, and flash memories, followed the same course as SRAM, as shown in the Figure. Then the technology shift was also seen for mainframes, which had been based on bipolar or BiCMOS technology. Here is some interesting testimony from the head of a giant computer company, Louis V. Gerstner, the ex-IBM Chairman and CEO, from his memoir Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? .
This is how Gerstner describes the effect of CMOS on IBM’s main frame business;
■ IBM’s mainframe sales were declining because of a precipitous drop in market share.
■ The technical team made a bold move to a totally different architecture: from bipolar to CMOS. ■ Had IBM not made the decision to go with CMOS, it would have been out of the mainframe
business by 1997.
With the technological shift of servers and mainframes to CMOS, nearly all electronic equipment today, from small to big and from mobile to stationary, is based on CMOS. It can be said that CMOS innovation laid the foundation of today’s civilization.
Future Prospects Technological Aspects
One of the major changes expected for future semiconductors is a diversification of
technological direction. One direction would be to keep on enhancing device performance and integration density through the extension of Moore’s Law ; this is often called the “more Moore” direction. On the other hand, there are newly emerging devices in the semiconductor industry, such as sensors, MEMS devices, display devices, power devices, and bio chips, whose functions depend on utilizing the basic properties of materials rather than just shrinking the devices. These
are sometimes called “more than Moore” (MTM) devices and are expected to make great
MAKIMOTO LIBRARY / Exhibit V
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