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Early this year, SPIE (the optical engineering professional society) asked me to write an article for their magazine devoted to careers in optics, SPIE Professional. They wanted to hear any advise I might have for people in, or thinking about entering, the field of semiconductor lithography.
I thought for a moment and then asked, ďAre you sure you really want my honest opinion?Ē They assured me that they did, and so I wrote a short article giving my unfiltered opinion as to whether a career in lithography was a good idea. When I submitted it, I asked again, ďAre you sure you want to publish this?Ē To their credit, SPIE wanted only my true views, with no spin or sugar coating. The article has just come out. SPIE members can access it at http://spie.org/x4274.xml (the article is called Fab Future). The print version should be in the mail soon, if it hasnít been sent already.
Here is the tag line for the article:
The "Litho Guru" takes a dim view of lithography remaining a top dog in semiconductor manufacturing and in fueling Moore's Law. Growth and fun are slowing.
Itís not really an upbeat assessment of the potential for a career in lithography, or the semiconductor industry in general. But then, for those of us working in that field, this is not news.
Last week my next-door neighbor, Carroll, had a birthday. He turned 99 years old. He is an absolute inspiration. When I asked him what it felt like to turn 99, he said "It's better than the alternative". His goal is to break the age reacord in his family (102).
Carroll has lived in his house with his wife, Martha (age 94), since 1942. They still live independently (with a little help from friends a family) and enjoy the good life. I'm looking forward to the party next year.