The big thing is pretty small. And the pride of Thilo von Freyhold, who is responsible for new semiconductor manufacturing processes at Jenoptik AG. On a February day, the physicist is sitting in a conference room at the company, speaking in a low voice and with great enthusiasm. He throws charts on a screen that outline the future of the semiconductor industry. Excellent prospects: “In the next 10 to 20 years we will be able to further increase the performance of the chips in our smartphones, tablets and laptops by making structures ever smaller,” says von Freyhold.

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