Essential Guide to Semiconductors, The

Prentice Hall
Jim Turley  
Total pages
December 2002
Related Titles


This book is a professional's guide to the business and technology of silicon (semiconductor) design and manufacturing. In other words, it is a "Hitchhiker's Guide to Silicon Valley;" and an explanation of what and how the enormous electronics industry works.

Table of Contents

1. Running Start.
About This Book. Some Words to Know.

2. Semiconductor Family Tree.
Semiconductor Family Tree. Simple Analog Components. Advanced Analog Components. A/D and D/A Converters. MEMS. Medium-Scale Digital Chips. Highly Integrated Digital Chips.

3. How Chips Are Designed.
Old-Style Design Process. New-Style Design Process. Verifying the Design Works. Using Outside IP. Getting to Tape Out and Film. Current Problems and Future Trends.

4. How Chips Are Made.
Clean Rooms and Fabs. Developing Technology: Chips and Photography. Silicon Ingots to Start. Polishing the Wafer Smooth. Building the Layer Cake. Laser Surgery: Etching Away the Transistors. Step and Repeat. Etching Bath. Ready for the Metal Round. Testing Phase. Bringing Out the Diamonds. Sorting the Fast from the Merely Good. Wrap It Up. How Many Nanometers in a Micron? Let's Get Small.

5. Business and Markets.
Worldwide Production of Semiconductors. Worldwide Consumption of Semiconductors. Military Electronics. The Business of Making Semiconductors.

6. Essential Guide to Microprocessors.
Overview of Microprocessors. Microprocessor History and Evolution. What's a Processor Architecture? Microprocessor Anatomy and Gazetteer. What Do 4-Bit, 8-Bit, 16-Bit, and 32-Bit Mean? Performance, Benchmarks, and Gigahertz. What Is Software? Choosing Microprocessors. Microprocessor Future Trends.

7. Essential Guide to Memory Chips.
Overview of Memory Chips. Nonvolatile ROM. Volatile RAM. Memory Interfaces. Future Memories.

8. Essential Guide to Custom and Configurable Chips.
Overview of Custom Chips. Field-Programmable Chips. Custom ASIC Chips. Dynamically Reconfigurable Chips. Intellectual Property Licensing. Future Outlook for Custom Chips.

9. Theory.
Digital and Binary Concepts. Gates and Logic Functions. How Transistors Work. About Electrons and Electronics.

Appendix: Standard Bodies and Reference.
Standards Bodies and Organizations. Conferences and Trade Shows. Other Resources.


Back Cover

  • An up-to-the-minute briefing on the entire semiconductor industry
  • Technology, applications, and markets-explained in English
  • Explains today's state-of-the-art silicon design and manufacturing techniques
  • Contains expert insights from one of the industry's leading analysts and editors
The Essential Guide to Semiconductors is a complete professional's guide to the business andtechnology of semiconductor design and manufacturing. Leading semiconductor industry analystand editor Jim Turley illuminates every facet of the industry, explaining its fast-changingtechnologies, markets, and business models simply, clearly, and without unnecessary jargon.
  • Covers a wide range of semiconductor applications: cellphones, cars, computers, gaming systems, and much more
  • Conceptual enough for laypeople and nontechnical investors-and sufficiently detailed for technical readers
  • Includes a wide range of diagrams and flowcharts to promote understanding
  • Presents accessible explanations of how silicon chips are designed and built
  • Shows how the entire industry fits together, helping readers understand key niches, market segments, and opportunities


JIM TURLEY is a semiconductor industry analyst, editor, and lecturer in Silicon Valley. He is aregular columnist for Embedded Systems Programming, Computer Design, Circuit Cellar, andSupermicro magazines. He was Senior Editor of the Microprocessor Report and a three-time winnerof the Computer Press Award. Jim also provides consulting services to leading semiconductorfirms and is often called upon to participate in new product reviews, strategy sessions, andtechnology development. He has also written six books on a number of different topics,including PCs Made Easy.