The sheer cost of the Cymer purchase alone took a lot of momentum out of the investments by Intel, Samsung, and TSMC, primarily for the sake of 450 mm, and already exceeds their operating cash flow. So there is some handicapping to a degree.
To Diogenes53 - You're correct. We all know innovation starts in the small companies whose exit plan is to be purchased by a big guy. In the case of ETEC and many other acquisitions by AMAT they've certainly had their share of disasters. In 1981 AMAT bought Cobilt; a year later Dan Maydan commented, "Hey at least we got a building out of it." After acquisitions happen the innovation usually grinds to a halt. Corporate HQ has these strategies of grandeur, acquires a company, then throws it to a division and says, "Make something of it." Without TLC and nurturing it withers and finally dies. AMSL's purchase of Cymer is very key to its core technology, so it should work out.
When a larger, particularly European, bureaucratic company buys a smaller company, do technology developments accelerate or decelerate? Remember when Applied Materials bought Etec, which had difficulty bringing its advanced ebeam mask writer to market? It was either disastrous or catastrophic. You couldn't reach any Etec engineers on the phone: they were in endless meetings. As a consequence, the MEBES V was stillborn, at Etec, which had an 80% market share, was dead. JEOL/NuFlare toppled them, making Etec, Applied's largest acquisition at the time, a multi-billion dollar loss, and the death of a then American icon. So....if you think the EUV and source development was too slow before (10 years late?), take a deep, deep breath.
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 15 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...