How Semiconductor Manufacturing Has Revolutionized Electronics

Did you know that there are more than 6.5 billion smartphones on Earth today? That's enough for over 80% of the world's population to have a smartphone!

More and more high-powered electronics are produced each year. Semiconductor manufacturing has become crucial to our ability to produce these high-quality, affordable handheld electronic devices.

Before semiconductors, computers were bulky, expensive, and unavailable to the masses. However, the discovery of silicon and other semiconductors has completely revolutionized the manufacturing process. Keep reading to learn how.

What Is the Semiconductor Manufacturing Process?

As a semiconductor manufacturer, you know that to create a semiconductor, you have to begin with sand. This sand is then melted into ingots, and the ingots are divided into thin slices and polished until they become wafers.

Semiconductor manufacturers print the circuit design on the wafer and then divide each wafer into yet smaller pieces. These small pieces are semiconductors. The semiconductors can then go wherever they need to go to get added to cell phones, computers, or any one of countless other electronic devices.

The Importance of Silicon

Silicon is one of the most plentiful resources on the planet. In fact, just under 30% of the Earth's surface is made of silicon. This makes it the second-most plentiful element in the Earth's crust (it ranks second after oxygen).

The abundance of silicon on Earth makes it a cheap and readily available resource in semiconductor manufacturing.

Electronics Manufacturing Today and in the Future

Before semiconductors, electronics were much less powerful. The 1969 industrial revolution led to broad applications of computing for the first time in history.

However, these computers used vacuum tubes and tons of electricity to complete tasks. Semiconductors help today's technologies do in seconds what it took months or even years for yesterday's computers to achieve.

Today, you'll find semiconductors in any number of electronic devices, such as:

  • Computers
  • Phones
  • ATMs and bank cards
  • Household appliances
  • Large machinery, such as those used in manufacturing and healthcare

Because semiconductors are cheaper and easier to produce than vacuum tubes, all these electronics are available to consumers at a lower cost and in greater amounts than ever before.

The competition to create better quality semiconductors with lower costs increases with each passing year. This has led many semiconductor equipment manufacturers to subcontract labor for parts of the process. They're able to keep control over their semiconductor designs while making larger volumes of the equipment.

Semiconductors will continue to get smaller and more powerful. Semiconductor manufacturing companies will need to adapt their processes to keep up with changes in technology. As we get better at manufacturing semiconductors, we're likely to see matching advances in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and other technologies of the future.

Test Wafers for Your Development Needs

Nearly all electronics, from tablets to TVs, use semiconductors to help power them. As science advances, semiconductor manufacturing is likely to drive innovation in the technology of the future as it has for the technology of today.

Before you invest in product wafers, test wafers can help your semiconductor manufacturing company perfect your process and cost-effectively test your materials. Silyb Wafer Services is your partner for the test wafers you need at a cost you'll love.

Want to see for yourself? Reach out to us, and we'll help you find a test wafer to suit your needs!

Published June 21, 2023.