Chandan Kumar Dwivedi, CEO, World Creator Studio
The whole domain of computing ushered into a new dawn of electronic miniaturization with the advent of semiconductor transistor by Bardeen (1947-48) and then the bipolar transistor by Shockley (1949) in the Bell Laboratory. Since the invention of the first IC (integrated circuit) in the form of a flip-flop by Jack Kilby in 1958, our ability to pack more and more transistors onto a single chip has doubled roughly every 18 months, in accordance with Moore's law. Such exponential development had never been seen in any other field and it still continues to be a major area of research work.
History and Evolution
The development of microelectronics spans a time, which is even lesser than the average life expectancy of a human, and yet it has seen as many as four generations. Early 60s saw the low-density fabrication processes classified under small-scale integration (SSI), in which transistor count was limited to about 10. This rapidly gave way to medium-scale integration in the late 60s when around 100 transistors could be placed on a single chip.
It was the time when the cost of research began to decline and private firms started entering the competition in contrast to the earlier years, where the main burden was borne by the military. Transistor-transistor logic (TTL) offering higher integration densities that outlasted other IC families like ECL became the basis of the first integrated circuit revolution. It was the production of this family that gave impetus to semiconductor giants like Texas Instruments, Fairchild, and National Semiconductors. Early seventies marked the growth of transistor count to about 1000 per chip, called the large-scale integration.
By mid-eighties, the transistor count on a single chip had already exceeded 1000, and hence came the age of very-large-scale integration or VLSI. Though many improvements have been made and the transistor count is still rising, further names of generations like ULSI are generally avoided. It was during this time TTL lost the battle to MOS family owing to the same problems that had pushed vacuum tubes into negligence, power dissipation and the limit it imposed on the number of gates that could be placed on a single die.
VLSI in India
We know that India understands the power of electronics. The Indian electronics industry and India can fully realize the Digital India dream in itself. When the VLSI industry will be established in our country, we can imagine the dream of Digital India or Make in India. Today, in our country there is no single VLSI manufacturing unit in any state or region. So due to this reason, we can say that India cannot make digital ICs, or digital circuits. For digital ICs or digital equipment, we are totally dependent on other countries.
Even now in Indian electronics industry, our country has not been able to do this easily. It cannot easily manufacture those digital devices, like other countries are fabricating the ICs. The VLSI technique or device fabrication and manufacturing in India can bring a digital revolution in India. These steps will be a part of digital electronics. After this evolution in VLSI Industry, electronics or digital devices will become totally inexpensive and we will no longer need to be dependent on other countries for their products and technology. On the contrary, other countries will be able to use our technology and will buy electronics products made by India. VLSI technology plays a very important role in digital devices and electronics field. We hope India will be able to achieve this as soon as possible and realize its dream of Make in India and Digital India.