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Is anyone an expert in wafer fabrication?

Discussion in 'Electronics Homework Help' started by Braeden Hamson, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

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    Feb 18, 2016
    I don't need an "expert" per say, I'm simply looking for someone knowledgeable in wafer manufacturing to answer a question.
    I'm writing a paper on how the electronics industry has impacted the Chinese economy, specifically the middle class. In my research I've found that Chinese manufacturers tend to buy ICs and other active components from Japan and other countries. It seems that creating components from silicon is beyond the technological capabilities of most Chinese manufacturers. They tend to work more with assembly and PCB manufacture. I know its much harder to create a silicon wafer, or silicon die than it is to create a PCB.

    My question then is, what makes silicon wafer fabrication so difficult compared to PCB manufacture. Or, are my assumptions wrong and there is some other factor that keeps Chinese manufacturers from creating things like ICs and processors.

    I'm writing a research paper for a writing class, so if possible I would greatly appreciate if I can get your name and some kind of credential so that I can attribute the information to you. This paper will be read by my teacher and no one else. If you want to provide me with this info please send it in a private message or I can give you my email. However, if you don't want to do this I completely understand.

    Thank you!
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    I question some of your assumptions. Wikipedia lists over 500 semiconductor fab labs in China.
     
  3. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

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    Feb 18, 2016
    Damn, I just realized one of my sources is from 2007. It says "Published online 2013" but it was actually published in 2007... SO its all out of date information.
     
  4. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    You will have to make a distinction between manufacturers of raw silicon wafers and so called wafer fabs where raw wafers are processed into electronic chips - from single transistors to highly complex microprocessors. From your op I guess your research is into wafer fabs.
     
    Braeden Hamson likes this.
  5. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

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    Feb 18, 2016
    You are correct, I'm more interested in the "complete product" that is the silicon die (proper term?) that can actually do a function. While I am fascinated with the process of creating raw silicon wafers, that's outside the scope of my paper.

    But I think this avenue of inquiry is now the cul-de-sac of inquiry as it has reached a dead end.
     
  6. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    Why do you think so? IC fabrication is a fascinating process what with all the challenges of creating structures at a level of 10 nm or smaller from UV light with a wavelength of 193nm? Whcih by the way explains why IC fabrication is so much more complex than PCB fabrication.
     
  7. Nanren888

    Nanren888

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    Nov 8, 2015
    There's also more to it.
    You can do you own designs yet be fabless, by designing for a provider's process and sending them the design, much as you do with PCBs.
    You can also buy wafers and do things to them if you want your own fab. If you don;t have confidentiality issues, you can share a wafer with others, so costs are lower.
    .
    Fabs are fickle. You need cleanrooms. You need to keep them clean. You need precision appropriate to the process you are using, this means lots of equipment. The investment is large. Process tech goes out of date quickly. Costly to keep up with the times.
    .
    Mainly your problem as stated above is with the assumptions, though.
    There will be many surveys of business prospects based on wafer fabs. Maybe just look for another.
    .
    I've always assumed the fake/clone chips that are such an issue in recent years come form China, but perhaps I am mistaken.
     
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