Alberta, information technology and the proposed national microelectronics facility

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This paper outlines the background to current national and provincial research and development initiatives in VLSI design and fabrication. After identifying the four enabling technologies underlying the Information Revolution, and briefly explaining the nature of VLSI, the paper goes to show the close parallels between the previous Industrial Revolution and the current Information Revolution. It is noted that we have just reached the same critical development stage of 'inventing the machine to make machines'. The importance of VLSI and related topics to the survival of modern nations is spelled out. The current major bottlenecks in developing this important enabling technology (VLSI) are identified as lying in design manpower, design software, and mask making. In Canada the situation is particularly acute. It is noted that the current recession has, paradoxically, opened a 'window' in time, during which Canada, and partcularly Alberta, can take steps to participate fully in the benefits to be expected from establishing high tech industries based on the Information Revolution, and in particular on VLSI and the related software enabling technologies. Some initiatives have already been taken. What more needs to be done is spelled out within the international, national, and Albertan contexts.
Computer Science
Hill, D.R., Hope, F. & Kendall, J. (1983) "Alberta, information technology and the proposed national microelectronics facility." Research Report 82/90/9, 16 pp. 18 p. appendices.