In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing digital age, we use varying types of technology to connect with our friends, family, and colleagues all over the world with the click of a button. We use our smartphones, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, and even our smart TVs on a day-to-day basis for both work and leisure. We don’t always think about the little components that make our gadgets run, but they are always there, running in the background, ensuring we can rely on them to connect us to the world whenever we need them. One of these many components are called “silicon wafers,” and while we don’t see them or interact with them, they are an essential part of making sure our gadgets do what we need them to do.
Just What Are Silicon Wafers?
Built by a wide variety of silicon wafer suppliers, these super-flat disks are the basic material that allows companies to manufacture semiconductors. Polished and free of impurities, you may not ever actually see one unless you strip your gadgets down to the circuitry, but they are there, ensuring your devices function.
With the Internet-of-Things (IoT) fast approaching, the demand for semiconductors is only going to grow, and with that demand, silicon wafers are the basic building block to make sure demand is met. They are made when silica is mined, and that material is smelted, then refined to high-purity polycrystalline silicon. The wafer is then formed when the silicon blocks are sliced into disks around 1 millimeter in thickness. After going through lapping and mirror-polishing, the silicon disks are ready to be made into semiconductors, which can then be fabricated into chips for all of the various consumer and enterprise technology that we use every single day, powering our devices for work, communication, entertainment, and even travelling.