The Tiny Brains of Modern Tech: Unveiling Chip Manufacturing

GS-3 Mains 

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Examine the significance of semiconductor chips in modern electronics, highlighting their role as the foundation of complex circuits and the functioning of billions of interconnected transistors.

Semiconductor Chips: The Powerhouse of Electronics

  • Not quite conductors, not quite insulators – semiconductors hold the key to modern electronics.
  • Doping these materials with impurities unlocks the ability to control their electrical properties.
  • By strategically adding dopants, complex circuits are “printed” onto the semiconductor, forming the foundation of chips.

The Mighty Transistor: A Versatile Workhorse

  • The transistor, a building block of chips, acts as an electronic switch and amplifier.
  • Billions of interconnected transistors on a single chip perform complex calculations and power various functions.

Building the Brain: A Multistep Creation Process

  • Deposition:Ultra-pure silicon wafers are coated with thin films for circuit formation.
  • Photoresist:A light-sensitive “mask” is applied to the wafer for precise patterning.
  • Lithography:Deep ultraviolet light carves the desired circuit layout onto the resist.
  • Etching:Unwanted material is removed, revealing the designed circuit patterns.

Global Chip Consumption: A Booming Industry

  • China leads the pack as the world’s largest user of semiconductors, driving demand for chip production.
  • The US and China are top consumers of final semiconductor products, followed by the European Union.
  • Global semiconductor sales are skyrocketing, projected to reach a staggering $1 trillion by 2030.

India’s Rise in Chip Manufacturing

  • Recognizing the importance of chip independence, India has established the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM).
  • Partnerships like TATA and Taiwan’s PSMC are bringing 300mm wafer fabrication plants to India.
  • Assembly and testing facilities are also being established to create a robust domestic ecosystem.

Government Initiatives: Boosting Chip Production

  • Attractive incentive schemes are being offered to investors, covering up to 50% of project costs.
  • This aims to establish two semiconductor and two display fabrication facilities in India.

The Future of Chipmaking:

With ever-increasing demand for electronics, chip manufacturing is a crucial industry. India’s initiatives position it to become a major player in this high-tech arena.

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