Is the process used to create the integrated circuits that are present in everyday electrical and electronic devices. It is a multiple-step sequence of photo lithographic 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.
The entire manufacturing process, from start to packaged chips ready for shipment, takes six to eight weeks and is performed in highly specialized facilities referred to as fabs.
When feature widths were far greater than about 10 micrometres, purity was not the issue that it is today in device manufacturing. As devices became more integrated, cleanrooms became even cleaner. Today, the fabs are pressurized with filtered air to remove even the smallest particles, which could come to rest on the wafers and contribute to defects. The workers in a semiconductor fabrication facility are required to wear cleanroom suits to protect the devices from human contamination.Progress of miniaturisation, and comparison of sizes of semiconductor manufacturing process nodes with some microscopic objects and visible light wavelengths.
Semiconductor device manufacturing has spread from Texas and California in the 1960s to the rest of the world, including Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It is a global business today. The leading semiconductor manufacturers typically have facilities all over the world. Intel, the world's largest manufacturer, has facilities in Europe and Asia as well as the U.S. Other top manufacturers include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (Taiwan), United Microelectronics Corporation (Taiwan), STMicroelectronics (Europe), Analog Devices (US), Integrated Device Technology (US), Atmel (US/Europe), Freescale Semiconductor (US), Samsung (Korea), Texas Instruments (US), IBM (US), GlobalFoundries (Germany, Singapore, US), Toshiba (Japan), NEC Electronics (Japan), Infineon (Europe, US, Asia), Renesas (Japan), Fujitsu (Japan/US), NXP Semiconductors (Europe, Asia and US), Micron Technology (US), Hynix (Korea), and SMIC (China).