Blog: Believe it or not, this is
an equipment breakdown
A strand of hair causing a microelectronics failure
Physical damage to microelectronics is way too small to be seen
A speck of dust straddling two electrical circuits on a computer chip
A fractured silicon wafer
This silicon wafer serves as a base for microelectronics built in and upon the wafer. The fractures or cracks can be seen in the left of the image.
During manufacture, silicon wafer preparation and handling can result in damage in the form of micro-cracks at the edges of the wafers.
While the damage may initially be harmless, under some conditions, such as increased temperatures, the micro-crack may later increase dramatically, finally cutting the wafer into pieces, resulting in failure of the circuit, and causing the equipment to stop working.
Technology is now the size of DNA
Today, more than 100 million transistors could fit on the head of a pin(1). These transistors are so small, just 22 nanometers, that you could fit 4,000 of them across the width of a human hair.
A strand of human DNA is 2.5 nanometers in diameter. We are dealing with technology that is only a little larger than DNA.