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APRIL 2019 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 93 double-blind and buried via with microvia cap technology (Figure 8). The advantage is that we can do this using VeCS at a low- er cost than the traditional sequential con- structions as used today. Figure 9 shows a VeCS-2 slot taken from the bottom side of the slot showing the ver- tical traces. Plated through-hole vias sur- round the slot via holes. Acknowledgments NextGIn wants to thank WUS PCB China for performing the work in fabrication the sample and making the cross-section re- sults available. WUS has been a VeCS de- velopment partner over the last few years, demonstrating the capabilities of this new approach. About NextGIn Technology NextGIn Technology is a fabless compa- ny that develops and engineers solutions for the interconnect industry. It works with designers and fabricators in solving indus- try problems and will sell or license the technology to the industry. PCB007 Joan Tourné is CEO of NextGIn Technology BV. Figure 9: VeCS slot under magnification. Atomic-scale Binary Logic Could Power Faster, More Energy-efficient Electronics Researchers at the University of Alberta have designed atomic-scale versions of the binary logic components that allow computer processors to perform complex op- erations—the latest in a series of advances that lay the groundwork for faster electronics that use far less power. "The atom-scale devices we are developing create a new basis for computer electronics that will be able to run at least 100 times faster or operate at the same speed as today but using 100 times less energy," said atomic physicist Robert Wolkow. The proof-of-concept devices Wolkow's team designed work much like logic gates in current microprocessors. But rather than using metal-oxide transistors mounted on silicon wafers, the atomic-scale logic gates use individ- ual electrons confined in "quantum dots" directly on the silicon surface, dramatically reducing the space needed to pack millions of them into a microprocessor and the electricity needed to run them. "Because our components are made of silicon, we make a straightforward marriage of the new atomic-scale technology with the standard CMOS technology that pow- ers today's electronics, providing an easy entryway to market," said Wolkow. This year alone, Wolkow and his team—supported by his graduate students and research associates at the U of A, the National Research Council of Canada, and the spi- noff company Quantum Silicon Inc.—published research demonstrating an atomic-scale simulated computer cir- cuit. This technique boosts the storage capacity of solid- state memory by 1,000 times, and they also developed a method for automated manufacturing of atomic-scale circuitry. "Today's electronics have reached a point of matura- tion and can't be made any better," said Wolkow. "We have to stop using so much electricity to run our comput- ers, and that means we need a drastic change in the kind of computers we use." The research was published in Nature Electronics. Wolkow's work was supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada. (Source: University of Alberta)

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