Date: October 2, 2020
TAINAN • The United States and China are wrestling to lead the world in artificial intelligence, 5G wireless and other cutting-edge technologies. But the real wizardry that makes those advancements possible is being performed on an island that sits between them, geographically and politically.
On Taiwan's southern rim, inside an arena-size facility set among lush greenery, colossal machines are manipulating matter at unimaginably tiny scale.
A powerful laser vapourises droplets of molten tin, causing them to emit ultraviolet light.
Mirrors focus the light into a beam, which draws features into a silicon wafer with the precision, as one researcher put it, "equivalent to shooting an arrow from Earth to hit an apple placed on the Moon". [FULL STORY]