Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

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 MEMS and Semiconductor Glossary
 
Access Time Time interval between the instant that a piece of information is sent to the memory device and the instant it returns.
Ambient Room temperature.
Bit (Memory Bit) Short for 'Binary Digit.' The smallest piece of data (a '1' or '0') that a computer recognizes. Combinations of 1s and 0s are used to represent characters and numbers.
Byte A number of binary bits, usually eight, that represent one numeric or alphabetic character.
Capacitor A discrete device that stores an electrical charge on two conductors separated by a dielectric.
Cleanroom The super clean environment in which semiconductors are manufactured. The lower the rating, the cleaner the facility. These rooms typically have hundreds of thousands of particles less per cubic foot than the normal environment.
CPU Central Processing Unit. The computer module in charge of retrieving, decoding, and executing instructions.
Die A single rectangular piece of semiconductor material onto which specific electrical circuits have been fabricated; refers to a semiconductor which has not yet been packaged.
Diffusion The standard procedure for doping silicon by heating wafers in a furnace from 400 to 1,150 degrees C in an atmosphere of dopant atoms.
Doping The introduction of an impurity into a semiconductor to modify its electrical properties.
Etch Removal of specific material (such as portions of a given layer) through a chemical reaction.
Flat Pack A flat, rectangular IC package type with the necessary leads projecting from the sides of the package.
IC Integrated Circuit. A tiny complex of electronic components and their connections produced on a slice of material such as silicon. Commonly referred to as a die or chip.
KGD (Known Good Die) Fully tested chips that are ready for bonding into multi-chip modules.
Logic The circuits used to control operation of IC devices.
Megabit One million binary pieces (bits) of information.
Mil One-thousandth of an inch, equal to 25.4 microns.
PC Board Printed circuit board. The board(s) used in a computer system onto which semiconductor components are connected.
Photoresist A material that prevents etching or plating of the area it covers
Planar A simple flat capacitor built between silicon and polysilicon layers.
Reticle A piece of glass with a chrome pattern for several die, used in the photolithography process.
Shrink Reduction in die (chip) size.
SIMM Single In-line Memory Module. A high-density DRAM package alternative consisting of several plastic leaded chip carriers (PLCC) connected to a single printed circuit board (PC board). SIMMs provide an upgrade vehicle for future generations of DRAMs without having to redesign the PC board.
Subassemblies Two or more individually replaceable items integrated to form a system.
Transistor A semiconductor device that uses a stream of charge carriers to produce active electronic effects.


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