Flashback to 2016
A collage of six images: a cartoon man, the periodic symbol of silicon (Si), a sprout growing out of a circuit board, a man scratching his head, a jack-o-lantern drone, and the shadow of a home with digital pictographs all over it
Jan 3, 2017

Happy New Year and welcome back to the Lam Blog! For our first article of 2017, we wanted to share a few of our most popular stories from last year. These made our short list for their blend of entertainment and technology education, ranging from articles that help put technology concepts into perspective to stories that highlight some of the countless ways that semiconductor tech has found its way into our lives. Whether you are reading these blogs for the first time or taking a second look, we hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed researching and writing them.


A cartoon man holding up a magnifying glass looking closely at a silicon wafer A Sense of Scale: How Small Is Small
One of the most astounding aspects of semiconductor chips is their incredibly small scale. Practically measured in atoms, some feature dimensions are on the order of nanometers (nm) – that’s one billionth (10-9 ) of a meter and more than 10,000 times smaller than the size of objects that can be seen with the naked eye. That may sound impressive, but how meaningful is a measurement you can’t see? Read More »


The periodic symbol for Silicon (Si) 10 Fun Facts About Silicon
From the earliest chips to the latest technologies, silicon has long played a major role in semiconductor manufacturing as the substrates (wafers) on which devices are built. Yet silicon wasn’t always thought of as the world’s main chip-making material like it is today. For instance, long before it found a home in the semiconductor industry, silicon in the form of common rocks was among early man’s first tools. You might also be surprised to learn that silicon, like water, is unusual in that it expands when it freezes. And did you know that silicon is the eighth most abundant element in the universe by weight? Keep reading to learn more fun facts about this interesting and useful element. Read More »


A sprout growing from a circuit board Celebrate Earth Day: Clever Green Tech Innovations
Our world is full of high-tech innovations. From smartphones, computers, and entertainment products to extraordinary advances in medicine, science, and countless industries, we’ve all seen how technology can improve lives. But did you know that technology is central to some eco-friendly uses as well? In celebration of Earth Day’s 46th anniversary on Friday, April 22, 2016, we wanted to share some cool innovations we found that could help shape a greener future. Read More »


A man scratching his head in front of a bunch of acronyms: ALE, FOUP, BEOL, DRAM, LELE, and MOL Test Your Knowledge of Semiconductor Terms
The semiconductor industry uses so many unique terms, it practically has its own language. To keep up on the latest developments, knowing that “language” can be really helpful. For instance, do you know your 3D NAND from your 3D IC? How about FEOL versus BEOL? Take our semiconductor industry vocabulary challenge below and see how you do. (HINT: Lam’s Technical Glossary can help!) We hope you have some fun, and you just might learn a few handy new words, too. Read More »


A jack-o-lantern drone Spooky Science – Tech or Treat
The lines between science fiction and reality continue to blur thanks to technological advances in devices like thermal imaging equipment, 3D printing, and even neural implants. Technology – enabled by clever semiconductors – also plays a role in making celebrations like Halloween more fun and ghoulish, from advances in automation, motion detectors, and IoT devices that enhance the spooky environment to mobile apps and connected security systems that help people stay safe during trick-or-treating outings. Here we’ve gathered a few out-there technologies that could amp up the Halloween experience and perhaps even expand the capabilities of the human mind. Read More »


The outline of a home with digital pictographs all over it How Semiconductors Are Changing Our Homes
From smartphones to televisions to refrigerators, it is hard to go more than a few hours without using a semiconductor-enabled device. In fact, since the mid-20th century, semiconductors have been the brains behind almost every electronic device. Recently, with the Internet of Things, semiconductors have altered the way objects in our homes communicate with one another, thanks to networks of connected sensors. This represents a rapid expansion in how pervasive semiconductors already are to everyday living. Read More »