An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of semiconductor material that is normally silicon. The integration of large numbers of tiny MOS transistors into a small chip results in circuits that are orders of magnitude smaller, faster, and less expensive than those constructed of discrete electronic components. The IC's mass production capability, reliability, and building-block approach to circuit design has ensured the rapid adoption of standardized ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors. ICs are now used in virtually all electronic equipment and have revolutionized the world of electronics. Computers, mobile phones, and other digital home appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the small size and low cost of ICs.
An electronic circuit is composed of individual electronic components, such as resistors, transistors, capacitors, inductors and diodes, connected by conductive wires or traces through which electric current can flow. To be referred to as electronic, rather than electrical, generally at least one active component must be present. The combination of components and wires allows various simple and complex operations to be performed: signals can be amplified, computations can be performed, and data can be moved from one place to another.
A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity value falling between that of a conductor, such as metallic copper, and an insulator, such as glass. Its resistance decreases as its temperature increases, which is behaviour opposite to that of a metal. Its conducting properties may be altered in useful ways by the deliberate, controlled introduction of impurities ("doping") into the crystal structure. Where two differently-doped regions exist in the same crystal, a semiconductor junction is created. The behavior of charge carriers which include electrons, ions and electron holes at these junctions is the basis of diodes, transistors and all modern electronics. Some examples of semiconductors are silicon, germanium, gallium arsenide, and elements near the so-called "metalloid staircase" on the periodic table. After silicon, gallium arsenide is the second most common semiconductor and is used in laser diodes, solar cells, microwave-frequency integrated circuits and others. Silicon is a critical element for fabricating most electronic circuits.
Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is a hard and brittle crystalline solid with a blue-grey metallic lustre; and it is a tetravalent metalloid and semiconductor. It is a member of group 14 in the periodic table: carbon is above it; and germanium, tin, and lead are below it. It is relatively unreactive. Because of its high chemical affinity for oxygen, it was not until 1823 that Jöns Jakob Berzelius was first able to prepare it and characterize it in pure form. Its melting and boiling points of 1414 °C and 3265 °C respectively are the second-highest among all the metalloids and nonmetals, being only surpassed by boron. Silicon is the eighth most common element in the universe by mass, but very rarely occurs as the pure element in the Earth's crust. It is most widely distributed in dusts, sands, planetoids, and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide (silica) or silicates. More than 90% of the Earth's crust is composed of silicate minerals, making silicon the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust after oxygen.
Integrated circuits were made practical by technological advancements in MOS (metal-oxide-silicon) semiconductor device fabrication. Since their origins in the 1960s, the size, speed, and capacity of chips have progressed enormously, driven by technical advances that fit more and more MOS transistors on chips of the same size – a modern chip may have many billions of MOS transistors in an area the size of a human fingernail. These advances, roughly following Moore's law, make computer chips of today possess millions of times the capacity and thousands of times the speed of the computer chips of the early 1970s.
The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor, also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor, is a type of field-effect transistor that is fabricated by the controlled oxidation of a semiconductor, typically silicon. It has an insulated gate, whose voltage determines the conductivity of the device. This ability to change conductivity with the amount of applied voltage can be used for amplifying or switching electronic signals. The MOSFET is the basic building block of modern electronics. Since its invention by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in November 1959, the MOSFET has become the most widely manufactured device in history, with an estimated total of 13 sextillion MOS transistors manufactured as of 2018.
Semiconductor device fabrication is the process used to create the MOSFET semiconductor devices used in the integrated circuits (ICs) that are present in everyday electrical and electronic devices. It is a multiple-step sequence of photolithographic and chemical processing steps during which electronic circuits are gradually created on a wafer made of pure semiconducting material. Silicon is almost always used, but various compound semiconductors are used for specialized applications.
Moore's law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years. The observation is named after Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and CEO of Intel, whose 1965 paper described a doubling every year in the number of components per integrated circuit, and projected this rate of growth would continue for at least another decade. In 1975, looking forward to the next decade, he revised the forecast to doubling every two years, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.4%.
ICs have two main advantages over discrete circuits: cost and performance. Cost is low because the chips, with all their components, are printed as a unit by photolithography rather than being constructed one transistor at a time. Furthermore, packaged ICs use much less material than discrete circuits. Performance is high because the IC's components switch quickly and consume comparatively little power because of their small size and close proximity. The main disadvantage of ICs is the high cost to design them and fabricate the required photomasks. This high initial cost means ICs are only practical when high production volumes are anticipated.
Photolithography, also called optical lithography or UV lithography, is a process used in microfabrication to pattern parts of a thin film or the bulk of a substrate. It uses light to transfer a geometric pattern from a photomask to a photosensitive chemical photoresist on the substrate. A series of chemical treatments then either etches the exposure pattern into the material or enables deposition of a new material in the desired pattern upon the material underneath the photoresist. In complex integrated circuits, a CMOS wafer may go through the photolithographic cycle as many as 50 times.
Integrated circuit design, or IC design, is a subset of electronics engineering, encompassing the particular logic and circuit design techniques required to design integrated circuits, or ICs. ICs consist of miniaturized electronic components built into an electrical network on a monolithic semiconductor substrate by photolithography.
A photomask is an opaque plate with holes or transparencies that allow light to shine through in a defined pattern. They are commonly used in photolithography.
An integrated circuit is defined as:
A circuit in which all or some of the circuit elements are inseparably associated and electrically interconnected so that it is considered to be indivisible for the purposes of construction and commerce.
Circuits meeting this definition can be constructed using many different technologies, including thin-film transistors, thick-film technologies, or hybrid integrated circuits. However, in general usage integrated circuit has come to refer to the single-piece circuit construction originally known as a monolithic integrated circuit.
A thin-film transistor (TFT) is a special kind of MOSFET made by depositing thin films of an active semiconductor layer as well as the dielectric layer and metallic contacts over a supporting substrate. A common substrate is glass, because the primary application of TFTs is in liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). This differs from the conventional bulk MOSFET transistor, where the semiconductor material typically is the substrate, such as a silicon wafer.
Thick-film technology is used to produce electronic devices such as surface mount devices, hybrid integrated circuits, heating elements and sensors.
A hybrid integrated circuit (HIC), hybrid microcircuit, hybrid circuit or simply hybrid is a miniaturized electronic circuit constructed of individual devices, such as semiconductor devices and passive components, bonded to a substrate or printed circuit board (PCB). A PCB having components on a Printed Wiring Board (PWB) is not considered a hybrid circuit according to the definition of MIL-PRF-38534.
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Early concepts of an integrated circuit go back to 1949, when German engineer Werner Jacobi AG) filed a patent for an integrated-circuit-like semiconductor amplifying device showing five transistors on a common substrate in a 3-stage amplifier arrangement. Jacobi disclosed small and cheap hearing aids as typical industrial applications of his patent. An immediate commercial use of his patent has not been reported.(Siemens
An amplifier, electronic amplifier or (informally) amp is an electronic device that can increase the power of a signal. It is a two-port electronic circuit that uses electric power from a power supply to increase the amplitude of a signal applied to its input terminals, producing a proportionally greater amplitude signal at its output. The amount of amplification provided by an amplifier is measured by its gain: the ratio of output voltage, current, or power to input. An amplifier is a circuit that has a power gain greater than one.
A hearing aid is a device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss. Hearing aids are classified as medical devices in most countries, and regulated by the respective regulations. Small audio amplifiers such as PSAPs or other plain sound reinforcing systems cannot be sold as "hearing aids".
The idea of an integrated circuit was conceived by Geoffrey Dummer (1909–2002), a radar scientist working for the Royal Radar Establishment of the British Ministry of Defence. Dummer presented the idea to the public at the Symposium on Progress in Quality Electronic Components in Washington, D.C. on 7 May 1952. He gave many symposia publicly to propagate his ideas and unsuccessfully attempted to build such a circuit in 1956. Between 1953 and 1957, Sidney Darlington and Yasuro Tarui (Electrotechnical Laboratory) proposed similar chip designs where several transistors could share a common active area, but there was no electrical isolation to separate them from each other.
Geoffrey William Arnold Dummer, MBE (1945), C. Eng., IEE Premium Award, FIEEE, MIEE, USA Medal of Freedom with Bronze Palm was an English electronics engineer and consultant who is credited as being the first person to conceptualise and build a prototype of the integrated circuit, commonly called the microchip, in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Dummer passed the first radar trainers and became a pioneer of reliability engineering at the Telecommunications Research Establishment in Malvern in the 1940s.
The Royal Radar Establishment was a research center in Malvern, Worcestershire in the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1953 as the Radar Research Establishment by the merger of the Air Ministry's Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) and the British Army's Radar Research and Development Establishment (RRDE). It was given its new name after a visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1957. Both names were abbreviated to RRE. In 1976 the Signals Research and Development Establishment (SRDE), involved in communications research, joined the RRE to form the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (RSRE).
The Ministry of Defence is the British government department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by Her Majesty's Government and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.
A precursor idea to the IC was to create small ceramic squares (wafers), each containing a single miniaturized component. Components could then be integrated and wired into a bidimensional or tridimensional compact grid. This idea, which seemed very promising in 1957, was proposed to the US Army by Jack Kilby and led to the short-lived Micromodule Program (similar to 1951's Project Tinkertoy). IC.However, as the project was gaining momentum, Kilby came up with a new, revolutionary design: the
Newly employed by Texas Instruments, Kilby recorded his initial ideas concerning the integrated circuit in July 1958, successfully demonstrating the first working integrated example on 12 September 1958.In his patent application of 6 February 1959, Kilby described his new device as "a body of semiconductor material … wherein all the components of the electronic circuit are completely integrated." The first customer for the new invention was the US Air Force. Kilby won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit. However, Kilby's invention was a hybrid integrated circuit (hybrid IC), rather than a monolithic integrated circuit (monolithic IC) chip. Kilby's IC had external wire connections, which made it difficult to mass-produce.
Half a year after Kilby, Robert Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor invented the first true monolithic IC chip. IC is the principle of p–n junction isolation, which allows each transistor to operate independently despite being part of the same piece of silicon. This method was developed by Kurt Lehovec of Sprague Electric; however, Noyce said he did not know about Lehovec's work at the time, but his idea of p–n junction isolation was based on Hoerni's planar process. Modern IC chips are based on Noyce's monolithic IC, rather than Kilby's hybrid IC.It was a new variety of integrated circuit, more practical than Kilby's implementation. Noyce's design was made of silicon, whereas Kilby's chip was made of germanium. Noyce's monolithic IC put all components on a chip of silicon and connected them with copper lines. The basis for Noyce's monolithic IC was the planar process, developed in early 1959 by his colleague Jean Hoerni, whose planar process was in turn based on the surface passivation and thermal oxidation methods developed by Mohamed Atalla at Bell Labs during the late 1950s. Another key concept behind the
Modern monolithic ICs are predominantly MOS (metal-oxide-semiconductor) integrated circuits, built from MOSFETs (metal-oxide-silicon field-effect transistors).After the first MOSFET (also known as the MOS transistor) was invented by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in 1959, Atalla first proposed the concept of the MOS integrated circuit in 1960, following by Kahng in 1961, both noting that the MOS transistor's ease of fabrication made it useful for integrated circuits. The earliest experimental MOS IC to be fabricated was a 16-transistor chip built by Fred Heiman and Steven Hofstein at RCA in 1962. General Microelectronics later introduced the first commercial MOS integrated circuit in 1964, a 120-transistor shift register developed by Robert Norman.
The list of IEEE milestones includes the first integrated circuit by Kilby in 1958,Hoerni's planar process and Noyce's planar IC in 1959, and the MOSFET by Atalla and Kahng in 1959.
Following the development of the self-aligned gate (silicon-gate) MOS transistor by Robert Kerwin, Donald Klein and John Sarace at Bell Labs in 1967,the first silicon-gate MOS IC technology with self-aligned gates, the basis of all modern CMOS integrated circuits, was developed at Fairchild Semiconductor. The technology was developed by Italian physicist Federico Faggin in 1968. In 1970, he joined Intel in order to develop the first single-chip central processing unit (CPU) microprocessor, the Intel 4004, for which he received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2010. The 4004 was designed by Busicom's Masatoshi Shima and Intel's Ted Hoff in 1969, but it was Faggin's improved design in 1970 that made it a reality. In the early 1970s, MOS integrated circuit technology allowed the integration of more than 10,000 transistors in a single chip.
Advances in IC technology, primarily smaller features and larger chips, have allowed the number of MOS transistors in an integrated circuit to double every two years, a trend known as Moore's law. Moore originally stated it would double every year, but he went on to change the claim to every two years in 1975. mm2, with up to 25 million transistors per mm2.This increased capacity has been used to decrease cost and increase functionality. In general, as the feature size shrinks, almost every aspect of an IC's operation improves. The cost per transistor and the switching power consumption per transistor goes down, while the memory capacity and speed go up, through the relationships defined by Dennard scaling (MOSFET scaling). Because speed, capacity, and power consumption gains are apparent to the end user, there is fierce competition among the manufacturers to use finer geometries. Over the years, transistor sizes have decreased from 10s of microns in the early 1970s to 10 nanometers in 2017 with a corresponding million-fold increase in transistors per unit area. As of 2016, typical chip areas range from a few square millimeters to around 600
The expected shrinking of feature sizes and the needed progress in related areas was forecast for many years by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The final ITRS was issued in 2016, and it is being replaced by the International Roadmap for Devices and Systems.
Initially, ICs were strictly electronic devices. The success of ICs has led to the integration of other technologies, in an attempt to obtain the same advantages of small size and low cost. These technologies include mechanical devices, optics, and sensors.
As of 2018 [update] , the vast majority of all transistors are MOSFETs fabricated in a single layer on one side of a chip of silicon in a flat two-dimensional planar process. Researchers have produced prototypes of several promising alternatives, such as:
As it becomes more difficult to manufacture ever smaller transistors, companies are using Multi-chip modules, Three-dimensional integrated circuits, 3D NAND, Package on package, and Through-silicon vias to increase performance and reducing size, without having to reduce the size of the transistors.
The cost of designing and developing a complex integrated circuit is quite high, normally in the multiple tens of millions of dollars.Therefore, it only makes economic sense to produce integrated circuit products with high production volume, so the non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs are spread across typically millions of production units.
Modern semiconductor chips have billions of components, and are too complex to be designed by hand. Software tools to help the designer are essential. Electronic Design Automation (EDA), also referred to as Electronic Computer-Aided Design (ECAD),is a category of software tools for designing electronic systems, including integrated circuits. The tools work together in a design flow that engineers use to design and analyze entire semiconductor chips.
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Integrated circuits can be classified into analog,digital and mixed signal, consisting of both analog and digital signaling on the same IC.
Digital integrated circuits can contain anywhere from oneto billions of logic gates, flip-flops, multiplexers, and other circuits in a few square millimeters. The small size of these circuits allows high speed, low power dissipation, and reduced manufacturing cost compared with board-level integration. These digital ICs, typically microprocessors, DSPs, and microcontrollers, work using boolean algebra to process "one" and "zero" signals.
Among the most advanced integrated circuits are the microprocessors or " cores ", which control everything from personal computers and cellular phones to digital microwave ovens. Digital memory chips and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) are examples of other families of integrated circuits that are important to the modern information society.
In the 1980s, programmable logic devices were developed. These devices contain circuits whose logical function and connectivity can be programmed by the user, rather than being fixed by the integrated circuit manufacturer. This allows a single chip to be programmed to implement different LSI-type functions such as logic gates, adders and registers. Programmability comes in at least four forms - devices that can be programmed only once, devices that can be erased and then re-programmed using UV light, devices that can be (re)programmed using flash memory, and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) which can be programmed at any time, including during operation. Current FPGAs can (as of 2016) implement the equivalent of millions of gates and operate at frequencies up to 1 GHz.
Analog ICs, such as sensors, power management circuits, and operational amplifiers (op-amps), work by processing continuous signals. They perform analog functions such as amplification, active filtering, demodulation, and mixing. Analog ICs ease the burden on circuit designers by having expertly designed analog circuits available instead of designing and/or constructing a difficult analog circuit from scratch.
ICs can also combine analog and digital circuits on a single chip to create functions such as analog-to-digital converters and digital-to-analog converters. Such mixed-signal circuits offer smaller size and lower cost, but must carefully account for signal interference. Prior to the late 1990s, radios could not be fabricated in the same low-cost CMOS processes as microprocessors. But since 1998, a large number of radio chips have been developed using CMOS processes. Examples include Intel's DECT cordless phone, or 802.11 (Wi-Fi) chips created by Atheros and other companies.
Modern electronic component distributors often further sub-categorize the huge variety of integrated circuits now available:
The semiconductors of the periodic table of the chemical elements were identified as the most likely materials for a solid-state vacuum tube . Starting with copper oxide, proceeding to germanium, then silicon, the materials were systematically studied in the 1940s and 1950s. Today, monocrystalline silicon is the main substrate used for ICs although some III-V compounds of the periodic table such as gallium arsenide are used for specialized applications like LEDs, lasers, solar cells and the highest-speed integrated circuits. It took decades to perfect methods of creating crystals with minimal defects in semiconducting materials' crystal structure.
Semiconductor ICs are fabricated in a planar process which includes three key process steps – photolithography, deposition (such as chemical vapor deposition), and etching. The main process steps are supplemented by doping and cleaning.
Mono-crystal silicon wafers are used in most applications (or for special applications, other semiconductors such as gallium arsenide are used). The wafer need not be entirely silicon. Photolithography is used to mark different areas of the substrate to be doped or to have polysilicon, insulators or metal (typically aluminium or copper) tracks deposited on them. Dopants are impurities intentionally introduced to a semiconductor to modulate its electronic properties. Doping is the process of adding dopants to a semiconductor material.
Since a CMOS device only draws current on the transition between logic states, CMOS devices consume much less current than bipolar junction transistor devices.
A random-access memory is the most regular type of integrated circuit; the highest density devices are thus memories; but even a microprocessor will have memory on the chip. (See the regular array structure at the bottom of the first image.[ which? ]) Although the structures are intricate – with widths which have been shrinking for decades – the layers remain much thinner than the device widths. The layers of material are fabricated much like a photographic process, although light waves in the visible spectrum cannot be used to "expose" a layer of material, as they would be too large for the features. Thus photons of higher frequencies (typically ultraviolet) are used to create the patterns for each layer. Because each feature is so small, electron microscopes are essential tools for a process engineer who might be debugging a fabrication process.
Each device is tested before packaging using automated test equipment (ATE), in a process known as wafer testing, or wafer probing. The wafer is then cut into rectangular blocks, each of which is called a die . Each good die (plural dice, dies, or die) is then connected into a package using aluminium (or gold) bond wires which are thermosonically bondedto pads, usually found around the edge of the die. Thermosonic bonding was first introduced by A. Coucoulas which provided a reliable means of forming these vital electrical connections to the outside world. After packaging, the devices go through final testing on the same or similar ATE used during wafer probing. Industrial CT scanning can also be used. Test cost can account for over 25% of the cost of fabrication on lower-cost products, but can be negligible on low-yielding, larger, or higher-cost devices.
As of 2016 [update] , a fabrication facility (commonly known as a semiconductor fab) can cost over US$8 billion to construct. The cost of a fabrication facility rises over time because of increased complexity of new products. This is known as Rock's law. Today, the most advanced processes employ the following techniques:
The earliest integrated circuits were packaged in ceramic flat packs, which continued to be used by the military for their reliability and small size for many years. Commercial circuit packaging quickly moved to the dual in-line package (DIP), first in ceramic and later in plastic. In the 1980s pin counts of VLSI circuits exceeded the practical limit for DIP packaging, leading to pin grid array (PGA) and leadless chip carrier (LCC) packages. Surface mount packaging appeared in the early 1980s and became popular in the late 1980s, using finer lead pitch with leads formed as either gull-wing or J-lead, as exemplified by the small-outline integrated circuit (SOIC) package – a carrier which occupies an area about 30–50% less than an equivalent DIP and is typically 70% thinner. This package has "gull wing" leads protruding from the two long sides and a lead spacing of 0.050 inches.
In the late 1990s, plastic quad flat pack (PQFP) and thin small-outline package (TSOP) packages became the most common for high pin count devices, though PGA packages are still used for high-end microprocessors.
Ball grid array (BGA) packages have existed since the 1970s. Flip-chip Ball Grid Array packages, which allow for much higher pin count than other package types, were developed in the 1990s. In an FCBGA package the die is mounted upside-down (flipped) and connects to the package balls via a package substrate that is similar to a printed-circuit board rather than by wires. FCBGA packages allow an array of input-output signals (called Area-I/O) to be distributed over the entire die rather than being confined to the die periphery. BGA devices have the advantage of not needing a dedicated socket, but are much harder to replace in case of device failure.
Intel transitioned away from PGA to land grid array (LGA) and BGA beginning in 2004, with the last PGA socket released in 2014 for mobile platforms. As of 2018 [update] , AMD uses PGA packages on mainstream desktop processors, BGA packages on mobile processors, and high-end desktop and server microprocessors use LGA packages.
Electrical signals leaving the die must pass through the material electrically connecting the die to the package, through the conductive traces (paths) in the package, through the leads connecting the package to the conductive traces on the printed circuit board. The materials and structures used in the path these electrical signals must travel have very different electrical properties, compared to those that travel to different parts of the same die. As a result, they require special design techniques to ensure the signals are not corrupted, and much more electric power than signals confined to the die itself.
When multiple dies are put in one package, the result is a system in package, abbreviated SiP. A multi-chip module (MCM), is created by combining multiple dies on a small substrate often made of ceramic. The distinction between a large MCM and a small printed circuit board is sometimes fuzzy.
Packaged integrated circuits are usually large enough to include identifying information. Four common sections are the manufacturer's name or logo, the part number, a part production batch number and serial number, and a four-digit date-code to identify when the chip was manufactured. Extremely small surface-mount technology parts often bear only a number used in a manufacturer's lookup table to find the integrated circuit's characteristics.
The manufacturing date is commonly represented as a two-digit year followed by a two-digit week code, such that a part bearing the code 8341 was manufactured in week 41 of 1983, or approximately in October 1983.
The possibility of copying by photographing each layer of an integrated circuit and preparing photomasks for its production on the basis of the photographs obtained is a reason for the introduction of legislation for the protection of layout-designs. The Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984 established intellectual property protection for photomasks used to produce integrated circuits.
A diplomatic conference was held at Washington, D.C., in 1989, which adopted a Treaty on Intellectual Property in Respect of Integrated Circuits(IPIC Treaty).
The Treaty on Intellectual Property in respect of Integrated Circuits, also called Washington Treaty or IPIC Treaty (signed at Washington on 26 May 1989) is currently not in force, but was partially integrated into the TRIPS agreement.
National laws protecting IC layout designs have been adopted in a number of countries, including Japan,the EC, the UK, Australia, and Korea. The UK enacted the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, c. 48, § 213, after it initially took the position that its copyright law fully protected chip topographies. See British Leyland Motor Corp. v. Armstrong Patents Co.
Criticisms of inadequacy of the UK copyright approach as perceived by the US chip industry are summarized in Further chip rights developments.
Australia passed the Circuit Layouts Act of 1989 as a sui generis form of chip protection. Korea passed the Act Concerning the Layout-Design of Semiconductor Integrated Circuits</ref>
This article needs to be updated.October 2018)(
Future developments seem to follow the multi-core multi-microprocessor paradigm, already used by Intel and AMD multi-core processors. Rapport Inc. and IBM started shipping the KC256 in 2006, a 256-core microprocessor. Intel, as recently as February–August 2011, unveiled a prototype, "not for commercial sale" chip that bears 80 cores. Each core is capable of handling its own task independently of the others. This is in response to heat-versus-speed limit, that is about to be reached[ when? ] using existing transistor technology (see: thermal design power). This design provides a new challenge to chip programming. Parallel programming languages such as the open-source X10 programming language are designed to assist with this task.
In the early days of simple integrated circuits, the technology's large scale limited each chip to only a few transistors, and the low degree of integration meant the design process was relatively simple. Manufacturing yields were also quite low by today's standards. As the technology progressed, millions, then billionsof transistors could be placed on one chip, and good designs required thorough planning, giving rise to the field of electronic design automation, or EDA.
|Name||Signification||Year||Transistors number||Logic gates number|
|SSI||small-scale integration||1964||1 to 10||1 to 12|
|MSI||medium-scale integration||1968||10 to 500||13 to 99|
|LSI||large-scale integration||1971||500 to 20 000||100 to 9999|
|VLSI||very large-scale integration||1980||20 000 to 1 000 000||10 000 to 99 999|
|ULSI||ultra-large-scale integration||1984||1 000 000 and more||100 000 and more|
The first integrated circuits contained only a few transistors. Early digital circuits containing tens of transistors provided a few logic gates, and early linear ICs such as the Plessey SL201 or the Philips TAA320 had as few as two transistors. The number of transistors in an integrated circuit has increased dramatically since then. The term "large scale integration" (LSI) was first used by IBM scientist Rolf Landauer when describing the theoretical concept;that term gave rise to the terms "small-scale integration" (SSI), "medium-scale integration" (MSI), "very-large-scale integration" (VLSI), and "ultra-large-scale integration" (ULSI). The early integrated circuits were SSI.
SSI circuits were crucial to early aerospace projects, and aerospace projects helped inspire development of the technology. Both the Minuteman missile and Apollo program needed lightweight digital computers for their inertial guidance systems. Although the Apollo guidance computer led and motivated integrated-circuit technology,it was the Minuteman missile that forced it into mass-production. The Minuteman missile program and various other United States Navy programs accounted for the total $4 million integrated circuit market in 1962, and by 1968, U.S. Government spending on space and defense still accounted for 37% of the $312 million total production.
The demand by the U.S. Government supported the nascent integrated circuit market until costs fell enough to allow IC firms to penetrate the industrial market and eventually the consumer market. The average price per integrated circuit dropped from $50.00 in 1962 to $2.33 in 1968.Integrated circuits began to appear in consumer products by the turn of the 1970s decade. A typical application was FM inter-carrier sound processing in television receivers.
The first MOS chips were small-scale integration chips for NASA satellites.
The next step in the development of integrated circuits, taken in the late 1960s, introduced devices which contained hundreds of transistors on each chip, called "medium-scale integration" (MSI).
In 1964, Frank Wanlass demonstrated a single-chip 16-bit shift register he designed, with a then-incredible 120 transistors on a single chip.
MSI devices were attractive economically because while they cost a little more to produce than SSI devices, they allowed more complex systems to be produced using smaller circuit boards, less assembly work because of fewer separate components, and a number of other advantages.
Further development, driven by the same economic factors, led to "large-scale integration" (LSI) in the mid-1970s, with tens of thousands of transistors per chip.
The masks used to process and manufacture SSI, MSI and early LSI and VLSI devices (such as the microprocessors of the early 1970s) were mostly created by hand, often using Rubylith-tape or similar.For large or complex ICs (such as memories or processors), this was often done by specially hired professionals in charge of circuit layout, placed under the supervision of a team of engineers, who would also, along with the circuit designers, inspect and verify the correctness and completeness of each mask.
Integrated circuits such as 1K-bit RAMs, calculator chips, and the first microprocessors, that began to be manufactured in moderate quantities in the early 1970s, had under 4,000 transistors. True LSI circuits, approaching 10,000 transistors, began to be produced around 1974, for computer main memories and second-generation microprocessors.
Some SSI and MSI chips, like discrete transistors, are still mass-produced, both to maintain old equipment and build new devices that require only a few gates. The 7400 series of TTL chips, for example, has become a de facto standard and remains in production.
The final step in the development process, starting in the 1980s and continuing through the present, was "very-large-scale integration" (VLSI). The development started with hundreds of thousands of transistors in the early 1980s, As of 2016 [update] , transistor counts continue to grow beyond ten billion transistors per chip.
Multiple developments were required to achieve this increased density. Manufacturers moved to smaller design rules and cleaner fabrication facilities so that they could make chips with more transistors and maintain adequate yield. The path of process improvements was summarized by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), which has since been succeeded by the International Roadmap for Devices and Systems (IRDS). Electronic design tools improved enough to make it practical to finish these designs in a reasonable time. The more energy-efficient CMOS replaced NMOS and PMOS, avoiding a prohibitive increase in power consumption. Modern VLSI devices contain so many transistors, layers, interconnections, and other features that it is no longer feasible to check the masks or do the original design by hand. Instead, engineers use EDA tools to perform most functional verification work.
In 1986 the first one-megabit random-access memory (RAM) chips were introduced, containing more than one million transistors. Microprocessor chips passed the million-transistor mark in 1989 and the billion-transistor mark in 2005.The trend continues largely unabated, with chips introduced in 2007 containing tens of billions of memory transistors.
To reflect further growth of the complexity, the term ULSI that stands for "ultra-large-scale integration" was proposed for chips of more than 1 million transistors.
Wafer-scale integration (WSI) is a means of building very large integrated circuits that uses an entire silicon wafer to produce a single "super-chip". Through a combination of large size and reduced packaging, WSI could lead to dramatically reduced costs for some systems, notably massively parallel supercomputers. The name is taken from the term Very-Large-Scale Integration, the current state of the art when WSI was being developed.
A system-on-a-chip (SoC or SOC) is an integrated circuit in which all the components needed for a computer or other system are included on a single chip. The design of such a device can be complex and costly, and whilst performance benefits can be had from integrating all needed components on one die, the cost of licensing and developing a one-die machine still outweigh having separate devices. With appropriate licensing, these drawbacks are offset by lower manufacturing and assembly costs and by a greatly reduced power budget: because signals among the components are kept on-die, much less power is required (see Packaging).Further, signal sources and destinations are physically closer on die, reducing the length of wiring and therefore latency, transmission power costs and waste heat from communication between modules on the same chip. This has led to an exploration of so-called Network-on-Chip (NoC) devices, which apply system-on-chip design methodologies to digital communication networks as opposed to traditional bus architectures.
A three-dimensional integrated circuit (3D-IC) has two or more layers of active electronic components that are integrated both vertically and horizontally into a single circuit. Communication between layers uses on-die signaling, so power consumption is much lower than in equivalent separate circuits. Judicious use of short vertical wires can substantially reduce overall wire length for faster operation.
To allow identification during production most silicon chips will have a serial number in one corner. It is also common to add the manufacturer's logo. Ever since ICs were created, some chip designers have used the silicon surface area for surreptitious, non-functional images or words. These are sometimes referred to as chip art, silicon art, silicon graffiti or silicon doodling.
A microprocessor is a computer processor that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit on a single integrated circuit (IC), or at most a few integrated circuits. The microprocessor is a multipurpose, clock driven, register based, digital integrated circuit that accepts binary data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory and provides results as output. Microprocessors contain both combinational logic and sequential digital logic. Microprocessors operate on numbers and symbols represented in the binary number system.
The 6800 is an 8-bit microprocessor designed and first manufactured by Motorola in 1974. The MC6800 microprocessor was part of the M6800 Microcomputer System that also included serial and parallel interface ICs, RAM, ROM and other support chips. A significant design feature was that the M6800 family of ICs required only a single five-volt power supply at a time when most other microprocessors required three voltages. The M6800 Microcomputer System was announced in March 1974 and was in full production by the end of that year.
Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) is the process of creating an integrated circuit (IC) by combining millions of MOS transistors onto a single chip. VLSI began in the 1970s when complex semiconductor and communication technologies were being developed. The microprocessor is a VLSI device. Before the introduction of VLSI technology, most ICs had a limited set of functions they could perform. An electronic circuit might consist of a CPU, ROM, RAM and other glue logic. VLSI lets IC designers add all of these into one chip.
Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS), also known as complementary-symmetry metal–oxide–semiconductor (COS-MOS), is a type of MOSFET fabrication process that uses complementary and symmetrical pairs of p-type and n-type MOSFETs for logic functions. CMOS technology is used for constructing integrated circuits (ICs), including microprocessors, microcontrollers, memory chips, and other digital logic circuits. CMOS technology is also used for several analog circuits such as image sensors, data converters, and highly integrated transceivers for many types of communication.
The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit central processing unit (CPU) released by Intel Corporation in 1971. It was the first commercially available microprocessor, and the first in a long line of Intel CPUs. The chip design, implemented with the MOS silicon gate technology, started in April 1970, and was created by Federico Faggin who led the project from beginning to completion in 1971. Marcian Hoff formulated and led the architectural proposal in 1969, and Masatoshi Shima contributed to the architecture and later to the logic design. The first commercial sale of the fully operational 4004 occurred in March 1971 to Busicom Corp. of Japan for its 141-PF electronic calculator, for which it was originally designed and built as a custom chip.
SiGe, or silicon-germanium, is an alloy with any molar ratio of silicon and germanium, i.e. with a molecular formula of the form Si1−xGex. It is commonly used as a semiconductor material in integrated circuits (ICs) for heterojunction bipolar transistors or as a strain-inducing layer for CMOS transistors. IBM introduced the technology into mainstream manufacturing in 1989. This relatively new technology offers opportunities in mixed-signal circuit and analog circuit IC design and manufacture. SiGe is also used as a thermoelectric material for high temperature applications.
The planar process is a manufacturing process used in the semiconductor industry to build individual components of a transistor, and in turn, connect those transistors together. It is the primary process by which silicon integrated circuit chips are built. The process utilizes the surface passivation and thermal oxidation methods.
In integrated circuits, depletion-load NMOS is a form of digital logic family that uses only a single power supply voltage, unlike earlier nMOS logic families that needed more than one different power supply voltage. Although manufacturing these integrated circuits required additional processing steps, improved switching speed and the elimination of the extra power supply made this logic family the preferred choice for many microprocessors and other logic elements.
An analog chip is a set of miniature electronic analog circuits formed on a single piece of semiconductor material.
The transistor count is the number of transistors on an integrated circuit (IC). It typically refers to the number of MOSFETs on an IC chip, as all modern ICs use MOSFETs. It is the most common measure of IC complexity. The rate at which MOS transistor counts have increased generally follows Moore's law, which observed that the transistor count doubles approximately every two years.
The electronics industry, especially meaning consumer electronics, emerged in the 20th century and has now become a global industry worth billions of dollars. Contemporary society uses all manner of electronic devices built in automated or semi-automated factories operated by the industry. Products are assembled from integrated circuits, principally by photolithography of printed circuit boards.
A transistor is a semiconductor device with at least three terminals for connection to an electric circuit. The vacuum-tube triode, also called a (thermionic) valve, was the transistor's precursor, introduced in 1907. The principle of a field-effect transistor was proposed by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in 1925.
In electronic engineering, a through-silicon via (TSV) or through-chip via is a vertical electrical connection (via) that passes completely through a silicon wafer or die. TSVs are high performance interconnect techniques used as an alternative to wire-bond and flip chips to create 3D packages and 3D integrated circuits. Compared to alternatives such as package-on-package, the interconnect and device density is substantially higher, and the length of the connections becomes shorter.
A three-dimensional integrated circuit is a MOS integrated circuit (IC) manufactured by stacking silicon wafers or dies and interconnecting them vertically using, for instance, through-silicon vias (TSVs) or Cu-Cu connections, so that they behave as a single device to achieve performance improvements at reduced power and smaller footprint than conventional two dimensional processes. The 3D IC is one of several 3D integration schemes that exploit the z-direction to achieve electrical performance benefits, in microelectronics and nanoelectronics.
The integrated circuit (IC) chip was invented during 1958–1959. The idea of integrating electronic circuits into a single device was born when the German physicist and engineer Werner Jacobi developed and patented the first known integrated transistor amplifier in 1949 and the British radio engineer Geoffrey Dummer proposed to integrate a variety of standard electronic components in a monolithic semiconductor crystal in 1952. A year later, Harwick Johnson filed a patent for a prototype IC. Between 1953 and 1957, Sidney Darlington and Yasuro Tarui proposed similar chip designs where several transistors could share a common active area, but there was no electrical isolation to separate them from each other.
Nowadays when people say 'integrated circuit' they usually mean a monolithic IC, where the entire circuit is constructed in a single piece of silicon.
Integrated circuits, which have largely replaced circuits constructed from discrete transistors, are themselves merely arrays of transistors and other components built from a single chip of semiconductor material.
Hans Camenzind invented the 555 timer
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Integrated circuit die manufacturing