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Sir Clive and the elusive WSI.

From: QL User August 1985

Wafer Breakthrough

sinclairwsi.jpg (16416 byte)

Research into wafer scale integrated circuits at Sinclair's Metalab would appear to be proceeding apace. Tests indicate that volume manufacture is possible. As previous attempts at WSI have floundered with wafers being either too costly to produce or yielding too few working chips, this represents a fundamental breakthrough.

According to Sir Clive WSI "represents the next logical development in the manufacture of increasingly complex electronic components. It could prove comparable in significance to the invention of radio valves, transistors and, most recently integrated circuit semiconductor chips."

With WSI, a silicon wafer will replace the relatively large PCB's where chips have to be individually mounted, wired and packaged in plastic. The wafer will comprise of many hundreds of chips. Some will be faulty, others will not. Using a technique invented by the British scientist (Ivor Catt, a member of the Metalab team), switching circuits on the wafer itself will identify and isolate faulty chips.

The first WSI product will be a 500K memory/mass storage device for the QL.