wafer

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wafer

1. Christianity a thin disc of unleavened bread used in the Eucharist as celebrated by the Western Church
2. Pharmacol an envelope of rice paper enclosing a medicament
3. Electronics a large single crystal of semiconductor material, such as silicon, on which numerous integrated circuits are manufactured and then separated

wafer

[′wā·fər]
(electronics)
A thin semiconductor slice on which matrices of microcircuits can be fabricated, or which can be cut into individual dice for fabricating single transistors and diodes.
(engineering)
A flat element for a process unit, as in a series of stacked filter elements.

wafer

(1) A small continuous-loop magnetic tape cartridge that was used from time to time for data storage. See Stringy Floppy.

(2) The base unit of chip making. A wafer is a slice taken from a salami-like silicon crystal ingot up to 450 mm (17.7") in diameter. The larger the wafer, the more chips produced in a single production pass, which comprises a series of photomasking, etching and implantation steps. Wafers are approximately 1/30th of an inch thick; however, the actual layers of transistors that make up the active circuitry are only a few microns deep.

Wafers started out being very small from one to three inches in diameter. Then came 100mm ingots (3.9"), followed by 125, 150, 200 and 300mm. Various wafer sizes are used today depending on the type of chip being made. See chip and wafer scale integration.


The Boule Is Sliced
The silicon ingot, which is known as a "boule," is sliced into wafers. (Image courtesy of IBM.)








Different Sizes
The person at the top is holding 150mm wafers; in the middle 200mm; and 300mm at the bottom. (Images courtesy of Texas Instruments, Inc., Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. and Intel Corporation, respectively).


Different Sizes
The person at the top is holding 150mm wafers; in the middle 200mm; and 300mm at the bottom. (Images courtesy of Texas Instruments, Inc., Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. and Intel Corporation, respectively).


Different Sizes
The person at the top is holding 150mm wafers; in the middle 200mm; and 300mm at the bottom. (Images courtesy of Texas Instruments, Inc., Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. and Intel Corporation, respectively).








Heating the Wafers
The red glow comes from a furnace that reaches 1000 degrees centigrade. The semiconductor wafers are baked in the oven to prepare them for the chip-making process. (Image courtesy of Intel Corporation.)
References in periodicals archive ?
The photoresist is hardened by exposure to light and then goes through several fabrication steps that uncover well-defined regions of the wafer surface and harden that surface to withstand subsequent fabrication steps.
The Surfscan SP2XP system has been extensively tested through beta partnerships with leading wafer suppliers, including Soitec, the world's leading supplier of SOI wafers.
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Reid added, "It remains our goal to be the dominant supplier of oxygen implantation equipment to the world's wafer manufacturers so they can, in turn, be the most efficient and cost-effective suppliers of SOI wafers to the semiconductor industry.
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Hiroshima Elpida) announced today the completion of its new 300 mm production line at its 300 mm wafer fabrication facility (E300 Fab) in Hiroshima, Japan.
Since that time, our engineers have worked very closely with the SUMCO engineers not only to complete the rigorous factory acceptance testing process, but to improve the quality and lower the cost of 300 mm SIMOX-SOI wafers processed through the implanter.
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