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SEMICONDUCTOR CHIP MANUFACTURING



  Apr 11, 2024

SEMICONDUCTOR CHIP MANUFACTURING



What is a semiconductor chip?

A semiconductor chip is a small electronic device made from a material that is neither a good conductor of electricity (like copper) nor a good insulator (like rubber). It can control the flow of electricity in electronic devices and systems, making it fundamental to modern electronics.

How is a semiconductor chip manufactured?

The manufacturing process involves doping, where impurities are intentionally introduced to a pure semiconductor to modify its electrical properties. Complex circuits are then “printed” on the semiconductor using a series of masks (stencils) and dopants, in a process analogous to creating an intricate artwork.

What is the significance of transistors in semiconductor chips?

Transistors are the building blocks of semiconductor chips, functioning as electronic switches that control the flow of electrical current. A single chip can contain billions of transistors, enabling it to perform a wide array of logical and computational operations.

What does fabrication technology entail in chip manufacturing?

Fabrication technology refers to the processes and methodologies used to create semiconductor chips. This includes miniaturization, which allows for smaller transistor sizes and more transistors per chip, enhancing performance and efficiency. The technology is often described in nanometers (nm), indicating the size of the smallest features that can be created on the chip.

Why are semiconductor chips becoming smaller?

Semiconductor chips are becoming smaller due to advancements in fabrication technology, allowing for more transistors to be packed into the same chip area. This miniaturization increases processing power and efficiency while reducing power consumption.

What is a wafer in the context of semiconductor manufacturing?

A wafer is a thin slice of semiconductor material, such as silicon, used as the substrate for fabricating integrated circuits. Multiple chips are manufactured on a single wafer, which is later diced into individual chips.

What happens at an assembly and test plant?

After the wafer is diced into individual chips, each chip is packaged in a protective covering, and tiny wires are connected for power and data transfer. The chips are then tested for functionality and reliability through various stress tests.

What is the current state of India’s semiconductor ecosystem?

India’s semiconductor ecosystem is primarily focused on chip design, with a well-established design industry since the 1990s. The country is now making strides in semiconductor manufacturing, with plans to set up fabrication plants and assembly and test facilities to enhance its capabilities in the semiconductor supply chain.

How does India’s foray into semiconductor manufacturing benefit its existing ecosystem?

India’s move into semiconductor manufacturing leverages its strong chip design base, offering opportunities for a wider range of professionals, including engineers, data scientists, and material scientists, to contribute to the industry. This interdisciplinary approach promises to enrich India’s semiconductor ecosystem further.


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