Semiconductors are all around us, everyday. They make our phones and computers work, and sometimes we don't realize they're also in our cars and fancy toasters and refrigerators, etc, etc. It's likely that the majority of the Techdirt audience has taken an electrical engineering class, but if you're not in that group (and you're curious about what a semiconductor does), check out these links on what goes into the chips that run the modern world.
- If you wanted to know what the basic parts of a processor are, here's an answer from Quora. You'll need to be able to figure out an AND gate, an exclusive OR gate, a flip-flop circuit, a multiplexer, a full adder... and some time to remember any Boolean logic you might have learned once. [url]
- How does a transistor work, and how does anyone make these things? Anandtech has a not-so-brief introduction to transistors and lithography, explaining a bit how past, present (and future) processors (will) work. [url]
- Ask most folks to name a chip manufacturer, and they'll name Intel. However, companies that use enormous amounts of computing power are looking for alternatives to X86 chip designs. ARM and OpenPower chip designs can be licensed more freely than X86, so there could be more kinds of chips running our Google searches and Facebook feeds someday. [url]
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post