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  how is a processor built? 
 Date Written 
Daniel Gibbon Jan 04, 2005, 06:18am EST Report Abuse
i wanna know how a processor is built and this may be a stupid question can i build one or could anyone build one at all if they knew how it was built. IM gonna put intel and amd outta business with my 3000000ghz cpu lol j/k. is it possible to actually build one yourself. :s

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Supreet Virdi Jan 04, 2005, 06:52am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: how is a processor built?
Ya u can make a processor ... BUT IN DREAMS :)

Sean B Jan 04, 2005, 07:09am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: how is a processor built?
It is possible... but these companies spend billions upon billions of dollars to perfect this technology. If they found out you could do it for a lot cheaper, they'd send a hitman to your house with lots of candy to bribe you :-).

The basic concept is this:

Processors are built in layers of silicon wafers.

Each layer is heated and treated with a boron gas, which cultivates a silicon dioxide(semiconductor insulator) and is then treated with a layer of photoresist, which becomes soluble in an ultraviolet light.

This ultraviolet light is used in a process called photolithography, where an imprint of a mask(a stencil of semiconductor architecture) can be transposed onto the silicon... similar to a photocopy. The photoresist that isn't under the mask gets exposed to the light, and turns into a liquid substance, which is then etched off with chemicals.

After that, the rest of the photoresist is removed, leaving trace patterns(ridges) of silicon dioxide.

A second layer is added by creating a thinner layer of silicon dioxide is grown over the trace patterns and etched areas of the wafer.

Then a layer of polysilicon(conductive silicon) and a layer of photoresist are applied. That layer is then treated under ultraviolet light, with a second mask, exposing a new pattern.

The photoresist is disolved, exposing polysilicon and silicon dioxide, which are etched away... leaving a trace pattern of conductive polysilicon and silicon dioxide(which again, acts as an insulator).

Ion implantation is then used to dope areas of the silicon wafer with metal ions, causing the areas to conduct electricity.

The layer process is repeated, creating windows that allow each layer to connect... and then metals such as copper and aluminum are used to fill the windows and connect the layers.

This is only how to make a basic microprocessor. Architecture design is really not explained by either AMD or Intel, although I'm sure there are plenty of sources online that will tear down even the latest and greatest processors to explain what is actually going on in them.

If you find such resources, let me know, because I'm just as curious as you.

varun rao Jan 04, 2005, 12:05pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: how is a processor built?
and ofcourse the elements of the processor such as transistors are 'grown' on the silicon wafer by forming PNP or NPN (N=electron rich zone P= 'holes' rich zone, ie lack of electrons in the atomic structure hence carry an over all positive charge)..the process of forming these zones is called 'doping'.... the 3 zones are the collector, base and emitter. By properly biasing the 'juntion' (ie NP, PN,..etc) its possible to put a transistor to use as an amplifier (common emmiter) , switch etc... in case of a processor, it behaves as an electronic switch. Thus by growing a bazillion transistors and other discrete elements on these silicon wafers, a processor ( a mega switching device) is ready.
To inderstand how transistors can be used to form logic circuits u'll need to explore 'Gates' ... eg AND,NOT,OR etc..... I might be wrong here but what kind of logic circuits do processors consist of?.... are they fixed in function or do they vary as per requirement?.

Sean B Jan 04, 2005, 07:28pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: how is a processor built?
All of the gates are fixed function... so the processor is fixed function.

Everything is hardcoded in.



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