What is a semiconductor?

A semiconductor is a material product usually comprised of silicon with electrical conductivity between that of a conductor and an insulator. It conducts electricity more than an insulator, such as glass, but less than a pure conductor, such as copper or aluminum. Silicon is an abundant material found in sand with conductive properties that can easily be altered.

A computer's binary system of 0's and 1's are represented in electronic circuits using different voltage levels.

What’s an integrated circuit?

An integrated circuit is composed of miniaturized active devices (e.g., transistors and diodes) and passive devices (e.g., capacitors and resistors) built up on a thin substrate of semiconductor material (typically silicon). Semiconductors are the core material for integrated circuits and transistors.

What is a chip?

A chip is a semiconductor chip, also known as an integrated circuit.

Funding and the future of semiconductors

Semiconductor manufacturing is on the rise.

One of the world’s leading semiconductor companies, Pragmatic, recently raised a $231M series D funding round. They make flexible integrated circuit technology that could replace mainstream silicon chips in a wide range of use cases. Their semiconductor manufacturing also has a lower carbon footprint than traditional silicon chip fabrication. Pragmatic will use this funding round to expand their production of silicon wafers.

Moore’s Law says that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit will double every two years with minimal rise in cost. Will Moore’s prediction of exponential growth remain in the semiconductor industry? David Rotman from the MIT Technology Review shares that we’re no longer progressing at the rate of Moore’s law.

Global semiconductor startups raised $5.2B in equity funding in Q3 2023, 68% more than the previous quarter.

Continued learning

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