Robust domestic semiconductor manufacturing is critical for strengthening the defense industrial base, supporting economic growth, and improving supply chain security.
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Pre-competitive basic research is essential to the semiconductor industry and the first step in the semiconductor production process.
Engineers use highly sophisticated equipment to design semiconductors, similar to how architects design buildings.
Many semiconductors start out as sand, which contains a large amount of silicon, but other pure materials can also be used.
The sand is purified and melted into solid cylinders called ingots, weighing up to 200+ lbs.
The ingot is then sliced into very thin (1 mm) silicon discs and polished to a flawless finish.
Next, wafers are printed with highly intricate circuit designs that will later become individual chips.
The silicon wafer containing finished semiconductors, sometimes as many as 70,000 per wafer, is then cut up into tiny individual semiconductors called dies.
These dies are then packaged into finished semiconductors, which can be placed into devices.
Finished semiconductors are embedded in countless electronics devices, from computers and smartphones to highly advanced medical equipment and supercomputers.
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