28 Feb '13, 4pm

Make Way for Flexible Silicon Chips Admin A.D

Subtractive techniques do sometimes have a logistical advantage, because they can be applied after the chip has been fabricated. But because a fully processed silicon wafer is about 100 times as valuable as a virgin silicon wafer, this advantage is realized only if the downstream grinding processes have a high success rate. Those success rates, as we’ve pointed out, decline as chips get thinner and thinner. By contrast, an additive approach shifts most of the thinning steps to the beginning, when any mistakes would ruin an unprocessed wafer rather than a valuable completed one. Another thing: When you’re building from the ground up, the thinner the chip, the cheaper it is to make. That relationship is precisely the opposite of what you get with the subtractive techniques.

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/materials/make-wa...

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