Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

William Edward Woody (
Wed, 07 Aug 1996 11:43:19 -0700

In article <>, wrote:
> Quantum-mechanical theory has very little, if anything, to do with the
> practical design of microchips.
> Steve Barnard

Bzzzzzzztt! Wrong answer. But thank you very much for playing.

While it is true that for all practical purposes most designs for
microchips are done at a level somewhat higher than the state
transition diagrams that you wind up drawing in Caltech's Freshman
Solid State Physics classes, the principles beind designing large
scale integration are firmly based on those principles. And
fundamentally those Solid State diagrams are based on Quantum
Mechanics, though most of the time people just wave their hands
and say "here are the state transition graphs; don't worry about
where they came from."

I mean, why does the CMOS Magic toolkit have hard and fast rules
as to how you can lay your various poly-lines and silicon lines?
Partially because there are limitations on the size of the mask
and the accuracy of laying down your lines. And partially because
you need to worry about QM oddities.

And with today's more advanced Very VLSI, they are actually
using QM effects to deal with the fact that a typical computer
memory chip stores a '1' by keeping around 20 electrons in
an electron cage. The design of the really really large memory
chips we're using in our computers today are designed not by
keeping a capacitance between two wires refreshed on a regular
basis by using an electrical pump, but are designed using QM
principles: the size of the area where the electrons are stored
are calculated to an exacting size to prevent those 20 electrons
from tunneling away.

- Bill

Wow, how did we get from matriarchies to electron wells?

William Edward Woody | e-mail:
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