Without the projection aligner, the microprocessor and high density memory might not have been economically possible. Indeed, without the projection aligner, Moore’s Law might have been relegated to the dust bin before it ever became a law. Defects limited integration in the era of contact aligners. Yields were poor, limiting die size, and made costs high enough to keep them out of many essential markets. Without this development, cars that don’t pollute, computers that have the power to develop new drugs, or simply operate a cell phone would not have been possible.
The development came from an unlikely company: Perkin Elmer. Dave Markle was there through it all and in this video he describes how it came to be . . . how they got management to sign off on the funding . . . and how they would ultimately lose an empire as size degenerated a great, innovative culture into a bickering, inwardly focused one, where politics rather than addressing customer need got you ahead. Dave has lots of lessons to teach any young entrepreneur.