The making of a chip


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You are surrounded by ICs. Yet you probably don't know much about how such a chip is made. This talk is an introduction to the world of chip fabrication from photolithography over ion implantation to vapor deposition of the connections

This talk is a tour through the fabrication of an integrated circuit, an electronic chip. You will see the basics of the different techniques used in the process:
- photolithography ("photolitho")
- etching
- ion implantation
- vapor deposition
and how they are combined:
- photolitho and etching to selectively remove material
- photolitho and implantation to form doped semiconductors that form transistors
- photolitho and vapor deposition to form the connections that turn the transistors into gates

I will touch the underlying semiconductor physics only very briefly to give an idea why this layout makes sense.

This talk is meant to give you a glimpse into the world of IC fabrication. I will not talk about things that are particularly new, this knowledge has been around since at least 1990. But it is still interesting since the processes are still used for every IC in production today yet not widely known outside the semiconductor industry.

I won't touch IC development (none of the points mentioned here). If you're interested in that on development and a low-level view on an FPGA may be your thing.


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