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Semiconductor Products: Integrated Circuits 

Semiconductors are materials having conductivity between that of conductors (metals) and insulators (ceramics). Semiconductor products are being widely used in almost all microprocessor chips and transistors. It can be said that anything, which is computerized or uses radio waves, has semiconductor products at the heart of its functioning like microcontrollers & microprocessors. Generally all the semiconductor products are created with silicon, that is why expressions like "silicon valley" and "silicon economy" have become so popular. Semiconductors can be classified as pure and impure semiconductors. Pure semiconductor products include elements like silicon, germanium, gallium arsenide or cadmium selenide and can be converted into impure ones through the process of doping in which impurities are added to pure elements in order to bring changes in the conductivity of the materials.

Integrated circuits (IC) are mini electronic circuits made out of semiconductor devices as well as electronic components. Integrated circuits are generally classified by the number of transistors and other electronic components they consist of.

The global semiconductor products and semiconductor devices industry touched US$10.22 billion in the year 2007 and the bills of semiconductor manufacturers were worth US$11.06 billion in the same year. Thus we can say that the semiconductor industry is one of the most profit making industries in the world. Among the semiconductor manufacturers, the largest semiconductor products manufacturing nation is China with a whopping 70% share in manufacturing, followed by USA with 10% share. Singapore, Russia and Taiwan are other leading semiconductor manufacturers. The global market for semiconductor products and semiconductor devices grew at the rate of 18% and reached US$36.6 billion in the year 2006. According to an estimate by SEMI, it will reach US$40.7 billion in 2007.

Integrated Circuits

Integrated Circuits Integrated circuit is an electronic device, which is made up of semiconductor material like silicon or germanium. This is the reason why, IC's are more popularly called chip or silicon chip. IC's are used in a number of electronic devices like computers, audio and video devices and automobiles. Some of the important features of IC's are its small size, reliability, capability of quickly switching speeds, less power consumption and can be produced easily in bulk. Chips or IC's can be differentiated on the basis of the number of electronic components they have. According to this classification the types of Integrated circuits are:

* Small Scale IC's (SSI)- IC's having 100 or less than 100 components.

* Medium Scale IC's (MSI)- All IC's having 100 to 3,000 electronic components can be termed as medium scale IC's.

* Large Scale IC's (LSI)- Those chips, which have 3,000 to 100,000 electronic components are called LSI.

* Very Large Scale IC's (VLSI)- VLSI contain 100,000 to 1,000,000 electronic components.

* Ultra Large Scale IC's (ULSI)- Chips containing more than one million electronic components are called ULSI's.

» Ic By Usage | » Microcontrollers & Microprocessors | » Programmable Logic Devices 

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