From Sand to Silicon “Making of a Chip” Illustrations May 2009


markus.weingartner@intel.com



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markus.weingartner@intel.com
Copyright © 2009, Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel, Intel logo and Intel Core are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the US. and other countries.

Copyright © 2009, Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel, Intel logo and Intel Core are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the US. and other countries.
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Sand / Ingot
Sand
With about 25% (mass) Silicon is – after Oxygen – the second most frequent chemical element in the earth’s crust. Sand especially Quartz - has high percentages of Silicon in the form of Silicon dioxide (SiO
2
) and is the base ingredient for semiconductor manufacturing.
Melted Silicon –
scale: wafer level (mm / 12 inch)
Silicon is purified in multiple steps to finally reach semiconductor manufacturing quality which is called Electronic Grade Silicon. Electronic Grade Silicon may only have one alien atom everyone billion Silicon atoms. In this picture you can see how one big crystal is grown from the purified silicon melt. The resulting mono crystal is called Ingot.
Mono-crystal Silicon Ingot –
scale: wafer level (mm / 12 inch)
An ingot has been produced from Electronic Grade Silicon. One ingot weights about 100 kilograms (=220 pounds) and has a Silicon purity of
99.9999%.

Copyright © 2009, Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel, Intel logo and Intel Core are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the US. and other countries.
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Ingot / Wafer
Ingot Slicing –
scale: wafer level (mm / 12 inch)
The Ingot is cut into individual silicon discs called wafers.
Wafer scale wafer level (mm / 12 inch)
The wafers are polished until they have flawless, mirror-smooth surfaces. Intel buys those manufacturing ready wafers from third party companies. Intel’s highly advanced 45nm High-K/Metal Gate process uses wafers with a diameter of 300 millimeter (
12 inches. When Intel first began making chips, the company printed circuits on inch (mm) wafers. Now the company uses mm wafers, resulting in decreased costs per chip.

Copyright © 2009, Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel, Intel logo and Intel Core are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the US. and other countries.
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