In human history, no technology has become ubiquitous as rapidly as the integrated circuit. Most of us would be hard pressed to name a household device that doesn't have at least one computer chip in it - from the stove and refrigerator to the cellphone, the thermostat and even the electric shaver.
The lifeblood of this revolutionary change is an industry composed of companies that make the materials used in electronic devices. From super pure silicon wafers to exotic alloys like gallium-arsenide.
In the manufacturing clean rooms, electronic materials suppliers provide the process gases and ultra pure water. And a single new innovation in materials science - such as those involving the emergence of nanotechnology - can spawn a sea change in technology.
Based on the monthly newsletter Electronic Materials Update, this anthology reviews what technologies are being developed and commercialized, where the growing fields are, which events are likely to shape the trends in the industry and why, and who the newest and major players are. By following these companies, the reader can acquire upstream knowledge of the new technology that soon be flowing from the chipmakers foundries. It reviews the developments in the following areas: