Intel Technicians Use Delicate Silicon Surgery to Fine-Tune Microchips

August 9, 2004 | Source: New York Times

Focused ion beam technology or “silicon nanosurgery,” routinely used at nine Intel chip factories around the world, has completely transformed the way modern computer chips are developed.

It can locate design flaws and performance bottlenecks and make changes in circuit wires that are frequently no more than several hundred atoms in width.

The tools are used routinely now as part of the process of tuning new chips as they are readied for manufacturing.