Self-Driving Cars
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Self-Driving Cars

Lunch And Learn: Computer Chips

At Kodiak we have a weekly, optional meeting called Lunch & Learn, where somebody in the company talks about something they know well.

Usually the topic is related to, but not strictly a part of, Kodiak and autonomous trucking. And, usually, the format is for the session leader to play a video and add some comments. That’s a lot easier than coming up with an hour-long lecture from scratch.

This week, we learned about silicon chips, including why chips have been in short supply in automotive industry.

We watched a sequence of videos, including this video by TechAltar: “Why making chips is so hard.”

The video highlights five areas required for chips:

  1. Chip Design
  2. Fabrication
  3. Equipment & Software
  4. Packaging

Of those, fabrication seems like the hardest, due to the massive capital investments required for fabrication equipment.

The whole video is great and worth a watch.

A bonus question somebody asked in our session, that is not addressed by the video: why are silicon wafers round?

Answer: silicon ingots are formed by the Czochralski method, which basically involves melting an ingot and letting it spread out from the center. This results in round wafers.

Originally published at http://davidsilver.blog on October 28, 2022.

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