I wrote this piece – Integrated Circuit Design – around 2007 when I was in the Johns Hopkins University during my Engineering doctoral program. It was originally written for the Association for Computing Machinery. They had requested a general overview of microprocessor making phases for entry-level students in the ACM Magazine. They wanted me to think of gaming and entertainment hardware. Here is the piece (extremely non-technical). I also included a photo of an optical waveguide which I fabricated to move photons (over electrons) for faster on-chip communication. If you want to make a career in making microchips, you would be required to master some of the phases as noted.
The development of highly efficient and effective entertainment hardware has been fuelled by the enormous advancement in the semiconductor industry. With continuous efforts of chip designers to develop innovative techniques to make chips smaller, robust and cheaper, gamers would continue to enjoy thrilling entertainment experience. Understanding this crucial aspect of hardware development could be intriguing for all stakeholders in the entertainment technology, especially those that use these chips to control different functions ranging from vision to automatic control. In simple general ways, the processes involved in making digital chips have been presented in this discussion.
Download the piece here (PDF)