Microelectronics Technology Matches- the complexity level of today's computers could not have been achieved without miniaturisation and integration. This has not been a drive in itself, rather, integration has boosted reliability, such that 4 million transistors integrated on a chip can function for years non-stop, whereas 4 million separate transistors could only function fora split second.
This stage in microelectronics development is the System-on-a-Chip era. The next stage is Solution-on-a-Chip where the sensing, signal-conditioning, data processing and delivery functionalities are all integrated on one silicon-module. The concept stems as necessary from the fact that the sheer number of connections between sub-systems makes it impossible to build complex non-contiguous devices, as an example 150 million Pixel Detectors in MCM-D technology. Some ideas and devices simply cannot be built unless the concept of Solution-on-a- Chip matures reliably industrially. The System-on-a-Chip concept integrated components in the same, or similar technology.
On the other hand the Solution-on-a-Chip concept will have to integrate radically different technologies on the same chip, as the sensing and delivery functionalities are often developed in technologies totally incompatible with those of the signal-conditioning and data processing sub-systems. Managing this aspect is key to the Solution-on-a-Chip concept, hence the interest for Microelectronics Technology Matches. Another marked difference between the Solution-on-a-Chip revolution (today) and the System-on-a-Chip revolution (1980-2000) is that the current concept addresses less so the world IT-microelectronics, but more the diverse worlds of bio/chemistry, medicine, and intelligent- environment - i.e. integrating MCM-D connectivity with sensing capabilities of porous silicon (with sol-gel over layers) yields performant drug-delivery or protein-selection capabilities.
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