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October 2, 2021 Archives

Saturday, October 2, 2021

CONTINUITY: MOSFET—How the Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor Changed the World

I remember when I first played around with a 3N128 [PDF] metal insulated gate field effect transistor in the mid-1960s. It was the first essentially ideal electronic component I ever encountered. The gate current was essentially zero—just what you needed to charge or discharge its tiny capacitance, and response was almost perfectly linear within its specified range. There was no gate protection: you had to be very careful not to zap the gate with static electricity when the device was not in circuit. Who could have imagined that, half a century later, its silicon descendants would be manufactured in quantities of thousands of trillions per day—the product the most manufactured in human history? The number of MOSFETs made per year is around two million times the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and the number made since their invention now exceeds the highest estimates for the number of grains of sand in all of the beaches of the Earth.

Posted at 12:36 Permalink

CONTINUITY: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Posted at 12:17 Permalink

CONTEXT: Akademik Lomonosov—Russia's Floating Nuclear Power Plant

Here is more about the Akademik Lomonosov, which went into service on May 22nd, 2020, delivering 70 megawatts (electric) from two KLT-40S naval propulsion reactors to the arctic community of Pevek in the Russian far east. Sixty megawatts of waste heat from the power plant is used in a community heating system, and a desalination plant provides fresh water to the town.

Posted at 11:46 Permalink

THE HAPPENING WORLD: James Webb Space Telescope—Hardware and Science

Posted at 11:19 Permalink

TRACKING WITH CLOSEUPS: Apple iPhone 13 Anti-Repair “Features”

Pretty much every component is “paired”, and only Apple has the tools to re-pair (heh) replacements. Swap a failed part for a spare, and features just magically go away. Just another reason I'm glad I bid adieu to the Pod people when the battery in “old sweller” tried to escape the case.

Posted at 10:19 Permalink