Definition

semiconductor fab

A semiconductor fab is a manufacturing plant in which raw silicon wafers are turned into integrated circuits. 

A fab lab features a clean room where the environment is controlled to eliminate dust and vibration and keep the temperature and humidity within a narrow range. In the clean room, the integrated circuits are etched onto wafers through photolithography, a process that involves photographing the circuit pattern on a photosensitive substrate and chemically etching away the background. The completed chips are sent to a back-end assembly and test facility.

The types of chips manufactured at a fab include NAND flash, DRAM for main memory, microprocessor, graphics controller, hard drive controller and RAID controller. Such chips go into a wide range of devices, such as computers, solid-state drives, hard disk drives, mobile phones, televisions and automobiles.

This was last updated in May 2013

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