Microelectronics

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Microelectronics is a subfield of electronics. Microelectronics, as the name suggests, is related to the study and manufacture, or microfabrication, of electronic components which are very small (usually micrometre-scale or smaller, but not always). These devices are made from semiconductors. Many components of normal electronic design are available in microelectronic equivalent: transistors, capacitors, inductors, resistors, diodes and of course insulators and conductors can all be found in microelectronic devices. Unique wiring techniques such as wire bonding are also often used in microelectronics because of the unusually small size of the components, leads and pads. This technique requires specialized equipment.

Digital integrated circuits (ICs) consist mostly of transistors. Analog circuits commonly contain resistors and capacitors as well. Inductors are used in some high frequency analog circuits, but tend to occupy large chip area if used at low frequencies; gyrators can replace them in many applications.

As techniques improve, the scale of microelectronic components continues to decrease. At smaller scales, the relative impact of intrinsic circuit properties such as interconnections may become more significant. These are called parasitic effects, and the goal of the microelectronics design engineer is to find ways to compensate for or to minimize these effects, while always delivering smaller, faster, and cheaper devices.

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