Welcome to the Tour

Welcome aboard the Semiconductor tour!

This tour is oriented towards presenting a high school level introduction to the history of semiconductors, computer chips, and the VLSI Industry.

Don’t worry if you’re not technical (or) if you don’t know anything in electronics, just hang along and we will try to cover as much basics as possible. You will also see a lot of history and a timeline of how things came along in this industry. 

We will not dive deep into the specifics of things. But, we will definitely dive into a lot of other things that has influenced and given birth to this industry. 

You may use the Menu to navigate to the different chapters present in this tour. 

semi conductor tour

The Semiconductor Tour

 

After going through this tour, you will be able to:

1) Summarize how computer chips came into existence

2) Know the basic workings of modern day computer chips.

3) Know the terminologies that Electronic Nerds talk about. 

4) Understand the complexity and appreciate the beauty of VLSI Industry. 

Why take this tour?

The Semi-conductor devices are everywhere. They power the modern life that we live today. Directly or indirectly, the semi-conductor devices make way for innovation in all the varied fields that we can think of. They have done an amazing job of making our everyday lives so much easier; it is worthwhile to get to know them better..

The Semi-conductor devices are also popularly known as Computer Chips.

What is a Computer Chip?

Computer chips are literally computers on a chip. They are made using the semi-conductor material – Silicon. An Integrated circuit is built on top and what we name these chips is based on the functionality they provide.

A computer on a chip

A computer on a chip

For example, if it’s used for raw computing, it is called a processor. If it’s used for providing graphics for games in your smartphone, it is called a graphics processor etc. 

 

Note: Micro-electronics is a division of electronics that deals with electronics built in micro-scale. Micro-scale is sizes smaller than a human hair. 

 

The below line describes today’s demand for computer chips:

“In the time it takes you to read this sentence, 32045 computer chips were created”

So, every 4 seconds, that’s how many chips are being manufactured today in the world!!

In 2015 alone, around 250 billion chips were made. which is around 30 chips for every person on the planet.

Now, you may be thinking that “I did not buy 30 computer chips in 2015, so, where are they?!” 

Let us see in the next chapter…