The ChipList, by Adrian Offerman; The Processor Portal

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IEEE SSCS background article
Sun 1 Apr 2007, 6:00
Processors » Technology »

Technical Miracles

The history of the integrated circuit
by Adrian Offerman

The half-century of the integrated circuit has witnessed so many technical miracles that perhaps engineers can be forgiven for being a little blasé. But a little reflection should astonish even the most jaded: The silicon we use comes as giant monocrystals weighing hundreds of kilograms, and whose impurities are denominated in sub-parts per billion. On the wafers cut from these boules we regularly inscribe features with lateral dimensions of tens of nanometers, and routinely grow layers with controlled thicknesses of only a few atoms.

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