Saturday, May 17, 2008

Looking for energy strategy, not tactics

Kissing up to a repressive regime is not an energy policy. Massive subsidies for corn-based ethanol -- which takes almost as much energy to make as it yields -- are not an energy policy.

Both parties are equally at fault here. President Bush visited Saudi Arabia, but Congress has been loudly demanding increased Saudi oil production. The Farm Bill faces a presidential veto, but Congressional leadership appears to have the votes for an override. Neither seems able to see energy as a critical strategic issue, too important to be held hostage by partisan bickering.

Barack Obama's energy proposals nod toward ethanol production, but also call for significant investments in conservation and alternative energy technologies. John McCain's web page ignores energy issues.

Monday, May 12, 2008

PDMS suppliers wanted

Does anyone out there know of a source for PDMS sheets, about 3 mils thick? A reader inquired, and I came up blank as well. Most people seem to make their own, but apparently that's not an option in this case. Send me an email or leave a comment if you can help.

Again, this is only a request for prefabricated sheets. The raw material is easy to find.

More recognition for OLEDs

I guess I'm not the only person who was impressed by Sony's OLED TV. The Society for Information Display will give it the Display Device of the Year Gold Award at their conference next week in Los Angeles.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Show us the money

Much to the relief of the equipment companies, the chipmakers seem to be shouldering the burden of the 450-mm wafer transition. Intel, Samsung, and TSMC have agreed on a common timeline, targeting production by 2014.

The 300-mm transition, you'll recall, created a lot of bad blood between the supplier and customer camps. The fabs pushed for an aggressive timeline, but (due to the dot com bust) failed to actually buy the equipment once it appeared. Oops. As a result, SEMI members have been pushing back hard at aggressive 450-mm proposals.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Last dog has died

It's all over but the shouting in the Democratic nomination race. Barack Obama will be the nominee. With a strong win in North Carolina and a near tie in Indiana, he's pretty much slammed the door on whatever chances Hillary Clinton might have had.

There may be plenty of shouting yet, but it won't change the outcome.

I don't have a horse in this race. I've been undecided for months. But I'm paying a lot of attention to energy policy these days because of my work on photovoltaics, and the proposed gas tax holiday is one of the most blatant examples of political pandering I've ever seen. From a policy standpoint, it's idiotic, and Senator Clinton is smart enough to know that. I'm glad to see that the voters saw it for what it was.