Ever wonder what a bunny suit has in common with the semiconductor industry? Not quite sure what all the buzzwords over the website mean?

No worries, you are not alone!

 Like most subjects, semiconductor science requires a certain vocabulary to build understanding and communicate clearly. It’s not rocket science (obviously, but you do need semiconductor knowledge to do rocket science…), which means you can learn the basics with a little time and effort. Below we compiled a glossary filled with most of the commonly used terms in our industry you need to sound smart. Just the basics and the facts.

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The final stage of semiconductor manufacturing process; follows the front-end processes. At the back-end, the fully processed wafers are assembled into packages and tested.

Bunny suit

The protective clothing worn by workers in a clean room; serves a crucial role in preserving the pristine conditions. These suits, which tend to make people look like oversized rabbits, are designed to keep contamination out of the clean room, even tiny particles or microbes can have a significant impact on sensitive processes and products.



A passive electrical component that is capable of storing electrical charges. The corresponding physical property is called capacitance, which indicates how much electrical charge can be stored for a given applied voltage. The capacitor provides a reactive component that can be used to adjust the impedance of the network, allowing for maximum power transfer between the source and the load.

Vacuum capacitors are one of the most critical components in a RF impedance matching network. They can be fixed to one value or variable over a defined capacitance range.

CE! (Copy exact)

A policy requiring all manufacturing process steps that might affect the form, fit, or function of raw material, semi-finished product, or finished product to remain fixed and unchanged absent explicit customer notification and approval. This is a semiconductor industry-wide standard that ensures customers always receive consistent product performance.

Clean room

A highly controlled and sterile facility where air quality, temperature, humidity and other environmental factors are tightly regulated to minimize the risk of contamination. A clean room is commonly used in the production of microprocessors, memory chips and electronic components, where it plays a critical role in ensuring the reliability and performance of modern technology.


A material or substance through which electric current flows easily. Typically, metals – such as copper, aluminum, silver and gold – are good electrical conductors. They are an essential component in the production of electronic devices and play a critical role in their performance and reliability.



The process of applying a thin layer of material onto the surface of a wafer.. These materials can be either conducting (metal) or dielectric (insulating), serving specific electrical purposes. Deposition techniques vary, with common methods including Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD), Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), Sputtering, and Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD); ALD operates at an atomic scale.



The process of selectively removing the unwanted material from the surface of a wafer to create desired features or patterns is known as etching. Conductor Etch involves the removal of conducting (metal) material, while Dielectric Etch entails eliminating dielectric (insulating) material. Higher energy and hence higher RF power is needed to break the strong atomic bond between dielectric material.

Among the prevalent methods is Plasma Etch, which addresses industry challenges such as poor selectivity, surface roughness, and aspect ratio dependency, particularly in creating High Aspect Ratio (HAR) features like Through Silicon Vias (TSVs). Atomic Layer Etch (ALE) operates at the atomic scale, a cutting-edge technology utilized for crafting intricate 3D features such as Gate All Around (GAA) in FinFET transistors.


Flat Panel Display (FDP)

A device that uses small, thin pieces of electronic visual display technology to produce images on a screen. Typically used in monitors, televisions, smartphones, and tablets.


The first of two main phases of the semiconductor manufacturing process, the other being the back-end.

The front-end phase includes several process steps, including wafer preparation, oxidation, deposition, photolithography, etching, doping, ion implantation, annealing, and polishing. Each process step may be repeated multiple times during the manufacture of integrated chips (ICs). These detailed front-end process steps are essential for manufacturing high-quality semiconductor devices.



Provides a reliable and stable source of electrical power to semiconductor manufacturing equipment, which requires a constant and precise supply of electrical power to operate correctly and produce high-quality semiconductor products.

RF generators are typically used in conjunction with other electronic devices such as impedance matching networks, amplifiers, filters, and modulators to generate complex waveforms. The output power of an RF generator can range from a few milliwatts to several kilowatts, depending on the application.


Impedance matching network

A circuit that is used to match the impedance of a source or load to the impedance of a transmission line or network. Its purpose is to maximize the transfer of power between source and load while minimizing the reflection of power back to the source. Matching networks are commonly used in RF and microwave circuits, where the impedance of the source and load can vary widely depending on the frequency of the signal and/or conditions of the target plasma chamber. The design of an impedance matching network depends on the specific requirements of the circuit, such as the frequency range, power level, voltage rating, current rating and impedance of the source and load.

Integrated circuit (see also Microchip)

A small electronic device made up of a semiconductor material, such as silicon. An integrated circuit contains numerous functional electronic components, such as transistors, diodes, resistors, and capacitors. These components are interconnected on a single piece of semiconductor material, which is usually a small chip on a larger wafer.



Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) devices are miniaturized mechanical and electro-mechanical elements that are integrated with electronics on a semiconductor chip. The physical dimension of a MEMS can range from several millimeters to less than one micrometer, which is many times smaller than the width of a human hair.

Microchip (see also Integrated circuit)

A small electronic device made up of a semiconductor material, such as silicon. An integrated circuit contains numerous functional electronic components, such as transistors, diodes, resistors, and capacitors. These components are interconnected on a single piece of semiconductor material, which is usually a small chip on a larger wafer.

Moore's law

States that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit (microchip) doubles every two years, leading to an exponential increase of computing power and decrease in cost per transistor. The law is based on a 1965 observation by Gordon Moore.



A non-volatile flash memory technology used in electronic devices such as smartphones, solid-state drives (SSDs), and USB drives. It is called "non-volatile" because it retains data even when the power is turned off. 3D NAND is a memory architecture in which NAND memory cells are stacked vertically to increase storage density.

Nanometer (nm)

A unit of measurement equivalent to one billionth of a meter. It is typically used in the semiconductor industry to measure the (critical) dimensions of transistors. 



An Original Equipment Manufacturer is a company that produces components or products for other companies to use in their end products. An OEM ensures that its products operate reliably, safely, and according to design specifications, as well as adhere to government and industry standards. In the semiconductor industry, an OEM is usually an equipment maker.



Plasma is the 4th state of matter; the others are solid, liquid, and gas. Plasma consists of ions, electrons, and radicals. While the sun represents the largest natural source of plasma, in semiconductor manufacturing, plasma is generated within plasma chambers using a wide range of gasses, including nitrogen, argon, and chlorine. Those gasses are transformed into plasma via various energy sources, including high DC voltage, microwave, and radio frequency (RF).

Plasma chamber

Plasma is generated within specialized plasma chambers, which are tailored for deposition or etching processes. These chambers are constructed from materials inert to the process harbored, primarily made of stainless steel, or ceramic that resist degradation during these processes. 

Several components are integral to plasma generation. The RF generator supplies RF power to ionize the gasses. Maintaining precise control of plasma within the chamber is crucial for optimizing the performance of individual chips across each wafer.



A material possessing the unique ability to transition between conducting and insulating states, unlike a pure conductor or insulator. Semiconductors are silicon, fermanium, and gallium arsenide (a compound semiconductor). A semiconductor can alter its state between conductor and insulator to allow ON/OFF switching. Electrons get excited and moving around becoming conductor by a doping process adding a small and controlled amounts of impurity atoms.


A chemical element (Si) with an atomic number of 14 (i.e., 14 electrons). Its significance lies not in its scarcity but in its abundance; silicon ranks second only to oxygen in the Earth's crust. Silicon’s semiconductor properties set it apart. Unlike purely conducting or insulating materials, semiconductors possess the unique ability to transition between conducting and insulating states. This characteristic is pivotal in the development of transistors and the fundamental basis of binary code, enabling the representation of 0s and 1s.


Technology node

Refers to a specific manufacturing process and its design rules to create integrated circuits (ICs) or chips. Different nodes mean different circuit generations and architectures and are typically expressed in nanometers (nm).

Thin film deposition

The depositing of a thin layer of material onto a substrate, typically a semiconductor wafer, using various deposition methods including Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD), Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), and Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). These methods yield material thickness ranging from a few nanometers to several microns.



A thin circular slice of semiconductor material, usually made of silicon, which serves as the substrate for the fabrication of integrated circuits (ICs) and other microelectronic devices. A wafer is around 0.7 mm to 0.9 mm in thickness and is defined by its diameter. The most common wafer diameter is 300 mm.



The percentage of good (i.e., fully functional) chips produced on a wafer compared to the total number of chips. It is a measure of the efficiency and effectiveness of the manufacturing process.

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