Select Page

An integrated circuit, many times call an IC or chip, is a small wafer that acts as a microscopic circuit board with millions of transistors, resistors, and capacitors, all connected in circuits. They can be programmed to do certain tasks, like amplify, keep time, store memories, or many other functions. Some are designed and manufactured for a single purpose while others are multipurpose and can be used in a variety of applications. In modern times nearly every electronic device, from cell phones, stereos, and computers to cars, TVs, and chargers have IC’s in them. Typically, the more popular an IC is, the more of them that will be manufactured and so the price will drop considerably due to the mass production.

Circuit Boards Of The Past Were Huge

In the past, the components needed to make an amplifier, for instance, would be inserted into a large circuit board. Then, they would have to be soldered into place and the printed circuit board would make most of the connections with its built-in wiring but a few would have to be manually wired by hand. Of course, this was slow and cumbersome, but at the time is was state of the art technology.

The end result could be a circuit board that was fairly large, maybe 4” X 6” in size, that would be installed in a cabinet and connected up to various other boards and components.

Now, all of those components are manufactured at the same time and installed on a tiny piece of silicone crystal called a chip. This chip might only be a square centimeter in size but accomplish everything that the larger printed circuit board of the past did. There wouldn’t be any hand soldering done, everything would be completely automated. Plus, due to the small size, the costs would be mere fractions of a penny after the design and set up were completed. The new ICs use but a tiny fraction of the amount of power too, plus they are more reliable at the same time.

How IC’s Are Fabricated In Modern Factories

Everything starts with a design that is done on a computer, of course, and many designs, once completed are considered standard by the industry. That means if you need a voltage regulator in a circuit, the design has already been done and you can buy the rights to use it. Or, you could buy the chip already manufactured for a very inexpensive price and just insert it into your motherboard. There are literally thousands of already designed and manufactured ICs that can be bought off the shelf and used. Some would need to be programmed for a particular application, while others that are more simple could be used “as is.”

When it comes time to make the ICs, they start with a large piece of pure silicone. Hundreds of separate ICs are made from the single large silicone wafer and then they are cut into individual chips afterwards.

The areas where the “wiring” is to be implanted is masked off and the aluminum coating is applied. The components are manufactured on the chip as well by computer controlled process involving chemical vapor deposition and others. They are smaller than microscopic.

As time goes on, these ICs get smaller and more complicated. The process is becoming more refined and quality control better as well. The chips will eventually be nearly free to manufacture, and will run everything that runs on electricity in our lives. To know more about us visit the website at