Everywhere you look these days; people are huddled over and enamored by their smart devices. This last decade has seen a surge in the amount of technology that has surfaced globally. The benefits have been immense, and it has brought the world closer, and we would say that technology has played a vital role in connecting people. Let’s face it, though; we genuinely do take our devices like smartphones, laptops, smartwatches, and gaming computers for granted. Yet have you ever wondered how we create most of our advanced technology? Today, we’ll dive into a small yet significant part of technology known as the semiconductor.
What is a Semiconductor?
We’ll review what goes into making a semiconductor, and also give you an idea about how semiconductors ultimately work. Conductors conduct electricity; we know this, of course, as our science class still lingers at the back of our mind. Then, of course, there is something called an insulator, and the least you should know is that it resists electricity. So as you may have guessed, semiconductors fall in between a conductor and an insulator. Due to this characteristic, it is perfect for creating an integrated circuit. The integrated circuit is where billions of transistors lie inside a chip. Yes, we said billions inside a tiny chip. They are minuscule, probably smaller than a fingernail. These transistors are the building blocks of digital codes. Thus if electricity passes through a gate of a conductor, it’s recognized as 1. If not, it’s known as 0. That’s important because semiconductors process all sorts of info using binary numbers (1s and 0s), and that’s the beauty of the technology.
How is a Semiconductor Created?
An interesting point to note is that semiconductors originated in the US, and we produce over half of the world’s semiconductors. The critical component used in the production of semiconductors would be sand. Sand consists of an element called silicon, which is a perfect material to process to create thin round wafers. Advanced engineering uses these wafers to build tiny intricate circuits over the courses of 100s of processes developed through machine technology. Since machines place billions of transistors inside this small area, it is super important to be short yet precise. Semiconductor processes and technology have allowed a reduction in the size of the chips over time. So much so that the size is so small the naked eye cannot see it. The shorter the width of the circuit, the shorter the traveling distance of the electron is. This simple process improves the efficiency and performance of the chips. Also, more of the smaller circuits can fit into a wafer. The more chips per wafer is less production costs. And also it makes the prices of technology lower too.
The Future of Semiconductors
The development of semiconductors has revolutionized the way we live today. Not so long ago, our cameras and laptops were cumbersome and heavy. And also, our mobile phones were limited to voice calls. Now each one of these devices can be replaced by just one smartphone because of the advanced technology used in semiconductors. As the Internet of Things grows, more people all around the world need electronics to power their need for connectivity. And naturally, semiconductors will only get smaller, enabling faster and faster developments of new features. Our need for human and technological progression will continue to drive the semiconductor industry remarkably.