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What is CHIP? Manufacturing Process From Sand to Chip

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What Is CHIP?

In this article, we will discuss What is chip, manufacturing process of the chip, generation of the chip (Moore’s Law), Applications of the chip, Where the chips are manufactures(companies), and many more details.

So, what are you waiting for?

Let’s dive into it.

What is Chip

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In this era of the 21st century, science is leading a step ahead in all categories, from a pen to an airplane. A microchip is used among most of the electronic devices to make it functional according to the specification.

CHIP is short of the microchip in electronic devices which helps to reduce the manual efforts in all aspects.

Chip is actually an integrated circuit, or we can say a set of electronic circuits in one flat ground of semiconductor material of silicon. 

Chip is basically a group of the integrated circuit in a platform to make it perform the necessary functions, it can be from a smart light or a spaceship.

Chip is integrated into the devices to make them perform the required functions.

We have seen the chip in almost all electric devices which help them to work without manpower or we can say without human efforts.

It will surprise you to know that a “CHIP” is basically made up from “SAND”. Yes, it is actually true. 

Usage of Chip

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The use of microchips in telecommunication, high-performance computing, and consumer electronics is growing at a very high pace.

The rapid progress in the electronic industry shows the crucialness of the chip and its features.

bloLet’s read further for a detailed chip manufacturing process from the scratch.

CHIP Manufacturing Process (Sand – Silicon – CHIP)

To Prepare a chip, a semiconductor needs to go through many processes:

  1. Silicon extraction from SAND
  1. Monocrystal silicon is being prepared from raw polysilicon or poly which is extracted from the sand
  1. Monocrystal silicon is heated at 2500 degrees Fahrenheit with argon gas to eliminate air
  1. Single silicon crystal is prepared from the molted monocrystal silicon, weighing around ~450 pounds and diameter of 200mm.
  1. Wafers of silicon are being cut out which are 99.99% pure silicon
  1. Lapping (microscopic chemical polishing/cleaning of the wafer)
  • as after the wafers are cut out they are still not ready for the chip, it needs to get more clean like crystal which will be done with the help of lapping
  1. Etching the circuit design
  • This process is used to have the pattern on the silicon wafer which shows how it will look later after all process, it’s a kind of MAP or we can say print to be used on the silicon wafer.
  1. Photolithography (The process used to transfer a pattern to layer on the chip by applying the UV rays to remove the photoresist material)
  • After etching the remaining pattern or the extra portion needs to be removed and which is done by using photolithography
  1. Wafer with 1000 individual microchip and billions and billions of circuit elements is ready

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  1. The individual microchips in the wafer are sliced out from the wafer
  1. And the final stage will be Packaging of the chip

Generation of CHIP

Moore’s law is named after Scientist Gordon Moore, CEO of Intel.

In 1965, he stated that the number of transistors/components double every two years per integrated chip.

After this statement which becomes law after a decade(1975), observed the number of components in the chip are exponentially increasing every decade and it will continue increasing further.


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Evolution of Logic Complexity in IC

EraYearComplexity per Chip
Single transistor1958<1
Unit logic (one gate)19601
Multi-function19622 – 4
Complex function19645 – 20
MSI(Medium Scale
196720 – 200
LSI(Large Scale Integrated)1972200 – 2,000
VLSI(Very Large Scale
19782,000 – 20,000
ULSI(Ultra Large Scale
198920,000 – more

Does this below questions arise in your mind, because it does to me.

Will Moore’s law end up someday?

The answer is YES, according to latest research, this theory will end up someday, but who know what new theory will come up.

Application of CHIP

  1. Communication devices (mobile phone, Headphone, i-Pod, etc.)
  2. All electronic home appliances (Washing machine, TV, AC, Refrigerator, etc.)
  3. Aeronautical appliances (Plane, Spaceships, rockets, etc.)
  4. Defense
  5. Computers (Personal, network, portable)
  6. Speech processing/Recognition
  7. Video-on-demand
  8. Data-communication
  9. Multi-media application
  10. And many more

Chip manufacturing companies:

Below are some of the major semiconductor fabrication plant name and country where the plant is situated.

Company Name/Foundry Country
UMCChina, Taiwan, Hsinchu
Texas InstrumentsGermany, Freising, USA
SMICChina, Shanghai
Tsinghua UnigroupChina
Tower SemiconductorIsrael


So, that’s all about what is chip, how it is made and usage of it.

If you’ve any question or doubts, feel free to ask it on comment section, we are happy to help.

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