Open IC Preliminary Testing

28 02 2012

I have been looking into the processes used by the large IC manufacturers to do photolithography. It appears that they use a coherent light source, usually in the far UV spectrum from what I understand, that is shone through a mask of what the current layer being etched looks like. The light that is let through then passes through a series of optics and mirrors that shrink the image down to the size they are after.

Since we are talking about UV light here, the optics would have to be made from quarts. This is due to the fact that standard optical glass is opaque to UV light. This makes the optics very expensive. My idea is to discard hopefully all of the glass and replace them with convex and concave mirrors.

Also, Instead of making up a mask for every layer, I had an idea that a laser of a suitable frequency could be used in an assembly similar to a CNC laser cutter and switched on and off in a manner that would result in the appropriate areas of the photo-resist being exposed.

To test my ideas I am going to dust off my old Newtonian telescope and make a small CNC laser plotter from a couple of old CD or DVD drives. I will then shine the laser down the barrel of the telescope and put a photo sensitive PCB near the lense to see if I can get good results from visible light and to get an idea of what the limitations of this approach will be. Will post more when I have a design made.


Open IC Project

28 02 2012

In recent times it has come to my attention that there is a severe lack of open source integrated circuits available. Even open source transistors and logic gates are nearly impossible to find designs for let alone available for purchase. As such I am throwing my towel in the ring and am going to help out.

I have found that there are some design files available that have been made open source for micro-controllers but, if you want them, you have to either emulate them, make them on an FPGA, or pay a hefty some for an IC manufacturing plant to make you a small run of them. Since the design files and software are available, I am going to start on the design of an open source IC fabrication set up using the traditional photolithography process. I have no idea if this will be feasible but if you don’t try then you will never know.

Here’s to progress.

Some Inspiration for this Site

12 02 2012

These are a couple of videos that have inspired me to make a contribution to the open source community.

Hello World!

11 02 2012

Hello World, welcome to my blog.

This will be a place for me to share all of my ideas/inventions/tutorials/<insert other random items here>. I am a strong believer in the open source movement and as such, everything that I come up with and post on this site is free to use and distribute as you feel fit. All I ask is that it be used for noble purposes and that you acknowledge the source of information.

I hope you all enjoy this blog and I look forward to reading all of your comments in the future.


Kind Regards,