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How Chips Are Made


The removal of selected portions of materials to define patterned layers on chips.
Atoms or molecules that have a net electrical charge. In semiconductor manufacturing, ions are the source of chemical impurities that alter the conductivity of silicon.
Masks used in the chip making process are like stencils. When used with the UV light, masks create the various circuit patterns on each layer of the microprocessor.
Metals, such as aluminum and copper are used to conduct the electricity throughout the microprocessor. Gold is also used to connect the actual chip to its package.
The process of reproducing the chip's circuitry pattern onto the wafer surface by using ultraviolet light and stencils or masks to transfer the image photomechanically.
A substance which becomes soluble when exposed to ultraviolet light; used to help define circuit patterns during chip fabrication.
Conductive material used as an interconnect layer on a chip.
Silicon Dioxide:
Grown on a wafer during chip fabrication to serve as an insulating layer.
Silicon Ingot:
A large, cylindrical, single crystal made from purified silicon. The cylinder is sliced into thin wafers which are used for making computer chips.
Silicon Wafer:
Intel uses wafers of pure silicon cut from a silicon ingot to make microprocessors. Silicon, the primary ingredient of beach sand, is a semiconductor of electricity. Semiconductors are materials that can be altered to be either a conductor or an insulator.
Ultraviolet Light:
Ultraviolet light has very short wavelengths and is just beyond the violet end of the visible spectrum. UV light is used to expose patterns on the layers of the microprocessor in a process much like photography.

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