The (semiconductor technology)

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A The ([ daɪ ], English for "dice", "flakes", dt i plural A. "This"; English plural.:. Dice or the [ daɪs ] and the [ daɪ ]) is in the semiconductor and micro-systems technology the name of an individual, unpackaged piece of semiconductor - wafer . Such a die is usually obtained by sawing or breaking the finished wafer into rectangular parts ( dicing ). Usually there is a component on a die, e.g. B. a transistor, light emitting diode, or a complex assembly, e.g. B. Integrated circuit , a microsystem . In order to benefit from parallel production on the wafer for as long as possible, the dicing takes place last in the normal production process, directly before installation in a housing or attachment to a circuit carrier (see direct assembly ). These are then called " chips " or " naked chips ". Even if a wafer (planned) is divided (even unstructured) before the component or assembly is completed, the sections are referred to as dies.

The one of the NE555 with bond wires


Wafers from 2 inches to 8 inches

The term “ die ” comes from kitchen English: “ slice and dice ” means - for example a cucumber - “first cut into slices and then dice”. Accordingly, one begins with the production of integrated circuits with a - cucumber-like - silicon bar , this is then "cut into slices" - from this the " wafer " = "waffles" - and then "chopped up" - from this then the " dice " = "Cube". Since the wafers are very thin, the “ dice ” do not look cube-shaped, but rather correspond to very flat cuboids in their shape.

"Bare Chip"

" Bare chip " or " bare die " (German "Nacktchip") are integrated electronic components that are not conventionally built into a plastic or ceramic housing, but are processed without a housing. They are applied directly to a circuit board or a ceramic substrate and electrically connected to surrounding components by means of wire bonding .


That of an AMD Opteron Six Cores microprocessor

As integration progresses, more and more assemblies that were previously attached as individual chips next to each other on a circuit board are combined on a common chip. Meanwhile, several hundred million transistors for CPUs , GPUs or RAM are housed on a die with an area of ​​around one square centimeter .

Examples from industry
product The dimensions Die area (mm²) Technology node Number of transistors (million) Comment / component
Intel 4004 03 mm × 4 mm 012 10 µm PMOS 00000.0023 Main processor, first microprocessor
Intel Itanium 2 (Tukwila) 21.5 mm × 32.5 mm 698.75 65 nm bulk CMOS 00221 Multi-core main processor
AMD Phenom II X6 346 45 nm 00750 Multi-core main processor
Nvidia Fermi GF110 520 40 nm 03000 Graphics processor
AMD Cayman (RV970) 389 40 nm 02640 Graphics processor
Intel Core i7-980X 248 32 nm 01170 Multi-core main processor
AMD FX 315 32 nm 01200 Multi-core main processor
Nvidia Kepler GK110 B 533 28 nm 07100 Graphics processor
AMD Tahiti (R1000) 365 28 nm 04310 Graphics processor
Nvidia Pascal GP100 610 16 nm FinFET 15300 Graphics processor
NVIDIA Volta GV100 chip 815 12 nm FinFET 21100 Graphics processor

Digital and analog signal circuits can increasingly be accommodated on a chip with power electronic elements (e.g. BiCMOS technology).

A combination of two complementary assemblies, such as CPU and cache , on the same chip can be described with the term “ on- die ”: The CPU has the cache “ on- die ”, which enables higher clock rates and bus widths and thus the exchange of data significantly accelerated.


The assembly and connection technology (AVT, packaging ) deals with the further processing of the dies - housing and integration into the circuitry environment .

A known good die (KGD) is a semiconductor chip that has been tested according to the specifications and found to be good, which, depending on the product , can contain a single component, for example a transistor , or a complex circuit such as a microprocessor . Good or defective data can also be determined in the wafer assembly using electrical needle testers. Defective components used to be identified by a colored dot ( inked ) and are excluded from the subsequent process of contacting and housing (cycle II, packaging ).

The ratio of useful to the total number of all available on a wafer as this will yield (engl. Yield ) and is an important indicator for evaluating the manufacturing process and the efficiency of a production line.


  • Graham Neil: Time is right for bare die. In: European Semiconductor , 27, No. 11, 2005, pp. 11-12.

Web links

Commons : Integrated circuit dies  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. According to Google: "semiconductor dice" - 6 hits; "Semiconductor Thies" - 339 hits; Status: 03/2018
  2. Yvonne Attiyate, Raymond Shah: Dictionary of microelectronics and microcomputer technology with explanations / Dictionary of Microelectronics and Micro Computer Technology with definition. Springer, 2013, ISBN 978-3-662-13444-3 , p. 42 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  3. Guy De la Bédoyère: The First Computers. Evans Brothers, 2005, ISBN 0-237-52741-3 , p. 36 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  4. Lambert Saddle Elicke, Eric DeLano: Intel Itanium quad-core Architecture for the Enterprise. (PDF) 2010, p. 5 , accessed on July 12, 2015 (presentation slides, Eighth Workshop on Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing Architectures and Compiler Technology (EPIC-8)).
  5. a b c nVidia GK104: 3.54 billion transistors on a chip area of ​​just 294mm²., March 13, 2012, accessed June 21, 2014 .
  6. heise online: GTC 2016: Nvidia unveils Pascal monster chip with 16 GByte HBM2 and up to 3840 cores. In: heise online. Retrieved August 23, 2016 .
  7. heise online: GTC 2017: Nvidia introduces giant GPU Volta with 5120 cores and 16 GByte HBM2. In: heise online. Retrieved October 15, 2018 .