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Encyclopedia > Fabrication (semiconductor)
Nasa's Glenn Research Center clean room.

Semiconductor device fabrication is the process used to create chips, the integrated circuits that are present in everyday electrical and electronic devices. It is a multiple-step sequence of photographic and chemical processing steps during which electronic circuits are gradually created on a wafer made of pure semiconductor material. Silicon is the most commonly used semiconductor material today, although gallium arsenide, germanium, and many other materials are used in special applications. An integrated circuit (IC) is a thin chip consisting of at least two interconnected semiconductor devices, mainly transistors, as well as passive components like resistors. ... The article on electrical energy is located elsewhere. ... Look up Electronic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Electronic can refer to many things: Objects related to electronics The band Electronic. ... See Wafer (cooking) for the original meaning of the word. ... A semiconductor is a material that is an insulator at very low temperature, but which has a sizable electrical conductivity at room temperature. ... General Name, Symbol, Number silicon, Si, 14 Series metalloid Group, Period, Block 14 (IVA), 3, p Density, Hardness 2330 kg/m3, 6. ... This article is about the chemical compound. ... General Name, Symbol, Number germanium, Ge, 32 Series metalloids Group, Period, Block 14 (IVA), 4 , p Density, Hardness 5323 kg/m3, 6 Appearance greyish white Atomic properties Atomic weight 72. ...



A wafer is made out of extremely purified silicon that is grown into mono-crystalline cylindrical ingots, using the Czochralski process. These ingots are then sliced into 0.75 mm thick wafers and polished to obtain a very regular and flat surface. General Name, Symbol, Number silicon, Si, 14 Series metalloid Group, Period, Block 14 (IVA), 3, p Density, Hardness 2330 kg/m3, 6. ... An ingot is a mass of metal or semiconducting material, heated past the melting point, and then recast, typically into the form of a bar or block. ... The Czochralski process is a method of crystal growth used to obtain single crystals of semiconductors, metals (e. ...

Once the wafers are prepared, many process steps are necessary to produce the desired semiconductor integrated circuit. In general the steps can be grouped into four areas:

  • Front end processing
  • Back end processing
  • Test
  • Packaging.


Front End Processing refers to the most crucial steps in the fabrication. In this stage the actual semiconductor devices or transistors are created. A typical front end process includes the following: preparation of the wafer surface, patterning and subsequent implantation of dopants to obtain the desired electrical properties, growth or deposition of a gate dielectric, and growth or deposition of insulating materials to isolate neighboring devices. Through hole transistors (tape measure marked in centimeters) The transistor is a solid state semiconductor device which can be used for amplification, switching, voltage stabilisation, signal modulation and many other functions. ...

Once the various semiconductor devices have been created they must be interconnected to form the desired electrical circuits. This "Back End Processing" involves depositing various layers of metal and insulating material in the desired pattern. Typically the metal layers consist of aluminium or more recently copper. The insulating material was traditionally a form of SiO2 or a silicate glass, but recently new low-K materials are being used. The various metal layers are interconnected by etching holes, called "vias" in the insulating material and depositing tungsten in them. A Low-K dielectric is one with a small dielectric constant. ... General Name, Symbol, Number Tungsten, W, 74 Chemical series Transition metals Group, Period, Block 6 (VIB), 6, d Density, Hardness 19250 kg/m3, 7. ...

Wafer test and device test

Once the Back End Processing has been completed, the semiconductor devices are subjected to a variety of electrical tests to determine if they function properly.

Finally, the wafer is cut into individual die, which are then packaged in ceramic or plastic packages with pins or other connectors to the outside world.

The packaged chips are then retested to ensure that they were not damaged during packaging and that the die-to-pin interconnect operation was performed correctly.

List of steps

Photolithography is a process used in semiconductor device fabrication to transfer a pattern from a photomask (also called reticle) to the surface of a wafer or substrate. ... Ion implantation is a materials engineering process by which ions of a material can be implanted into another solid, thereby changing the physical properties of the solid. ... A dopant is an impurity that is added in small amounts to a pure substance to change its properties. ... Dry etching is the removal of material, typically a masked pattern of semiconductor material, by exposing the material to a bombardment of ions that dislodge portions of the material from the exposed surface. ... Wet etching is the removal of material by immersing the wafer in a liquid bath of chemical etchant. ... In semiconductor manufacturing plasma ashing is the process of removing the photoresist from an etched wafer. ... Rapid thermal anneal (RTA) is a process used in semiconductor device fabrication which consist of heating a single wafer at a time in order to affect its electrical properties. ... Furnace anneal is a process used in semiconductor device fabrication which consist of heating multiple semiconductor wafers in order to affect their electrical properties. ... The most fundamental reactions in chemistry are the redox processes. ... Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is a chemical process for depositing thin films of various materials. ... Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is a technique in semiconductor device fabrication used to deposit thin films of various materials onto various surfaces (e. ... Molecular beam epitaxy, also called MBE, is the deposition of one or more pure materials onto a single crystal wafer, one layer of atoms at a time, under ultra-high vacuum, forming a perfect crystal. ... Electroplating is the coating of an electrically conductive item with a layer of metal using electrical current. ... Chemical mechanical polish. ... Wafer testing is a step performed during semiconductor device fabrication. ... A smartcard or smart card is a tiny secure cryptoprocessor embedded within a credit card-sized or smaller (like the GSM SIM) card. ... The PCMCIA is the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association, an industry trade association that creates standards for notebook computer peripheral devices. ... Die preparation is a step of semiconductor device fabrication during which a wafer is prepared for IC packaging and IC testing. ... Wafer mounting is a step that is performed during the die preparation of a wafer as part of the process of semiconductor device fabrication. ... During the die cutting or dicing process, a wafer with sometimes thousands of identical integrated circuits is cut into individual pieces, called dies. ... Integrated circuit packaging is the final stage of semiconductor device fabrication per se, followed by IC testing. ... Die attachment is the step during the integrated circuit packaging phase of semiconductor device fabrication during which a die is mounted and fixed to the package. ... Wire bonding is a method of making interconnections between a microchip and the outside world as part of semiconductor device fabrication. ... A flip chip is one type of IC chip mounting which does not require any wire bonds. ... Integrated circuit encapsulation (IC encapsulation, encapsulation) is design and manufacturing of protective packages for integrated circuits. ...


When feature widths were far greater than about 10 micrometres, purity was not the issue that it is today in device manufacture. But as the devices became more integrated the cleanrooms became even cleaner. Today, the facilities are pressurized with filtered air, to remove even the smallest particles, which could come to rest on the wafers, and contribute to defects. A micrometre (American spelling: micrometer), symbol µm, is an SI unit of length. ... A cleanroom is an environment that has a low level of envrionmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles and chemical vapours. ... Defect can refer to: in biology, the failure of an organism to develop properly (see congenital disorder). ...

The workers in a semiconductor fabrication facility now wear bunny suits and step into specially pressurized rooms which force out dust particles from the workers themselves, and into the ordinary environment.

It is important for these workers to minimize their exposure to the toxic materials used in manufacture, such as arsenic; for this reason, the semiconductor fabrication facilities are highly automated. General Name, Symbol, Number arsenic, As, 33 Series metalloids Group, Period, Block 15 (VA), 4, p Density, Hardness 5727 kg/m3, 3. ...

Memory chips are typically the first devices to use a technology, as they are highly regular, and can be used to test a technology. Different types of RAM. From top to bottom: DIP, SIPP, SIMM 30 pin, SIMM 72 pin, DIMM, RIMM RAM redirects here. ...

In an effort to increase profits, semiconductor device manufacture spread from Texas and California in the 1960s to the rest of the world, such as Malaysia and Japan, and is a global business today. Some Malaysian facilities are now in their fourth decade of operation, for example. State nickname: Lone Star State Other U.S. States Capital Austin Largest city Houston Governor Rick Perry Official languages None. ... State nickname: The Golden State Other U.S. States Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Official languages English Area 410,000 km² (3rd)  - Land 404,298 km²  - Water 20,047 km² (4. ... Events and trends The 1960s was a turbulent decade of change around the world. ...

Microprocessor manufacture is still strong in the United States, but the world's market leader is in Taiwan, represented by major companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and United Microelectronics Corporation (see UMC web site (http://www.umc.com/)). Singapore is the second biggest semiconductor manufacturer in the world, where Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing dominates. Microprocessors, including an Intel 80486DX2 and an Intel 80386 A microprocessor (abbreviated as µP or uP) is an electronic computer central processing unit (CPU) made from miniaturized transistors and other circuit elements on a single semiconductor integrated circuit (IC) (aka microchip or just chip). ... Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Limited (Traditional Chinese: 台灣積體電路製造股份有限公司, abbrev. ...

See also

  • SEMI — The semiconductor industry trade association

External links

  • Semiconductor Manufacturing (http://www.semiconfareast.com/manufacturing.HTM)
  • Intel's Animated step-by-step process (http://intel.com/education/makingchips)

Related articles

  Results from FactBites:
Semiconductor fabrication - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1822 words)
Semiconductor device fabrication is the process used to create chips, the integrated circuits that are present in everyday electrical and electronic devices.
The workers in a semiconductor fabrication facility are required to wear cleanroom suits to protect the devices from human contamination.
In an effort to increase profits, semiconductor device manufacture spread from Texas and California in the 1960s to the rest of the world, such as Ireland, Israel, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and China, and is a global business today.
Britney Spears guide to Semiconductor Physics: Fabrication of VCSELs. (1968 words)
The next stage of the fabrication process is to turn the single crystal of semiconductor material into many thinly sliced wafers.
The mean free path of the atoms is long enough under the conditions of vacuum within the bell-jar to eventually coat the surface of the semiconductor.
Etching may be required in the fabrication of VCSELs, for example to create the mesa structure of air post VCSELs or in creating areas for re-growth for current blocking layers.
  More results at FactBites »



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