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Is there a theoretical possibility of having a full computer on a silicon wafer instead of a motherboard?

It is theoretically possible. However I would describe it as practically impossible. When manufacturing silicon chips, you have a certain defect density over your wafer. Usually chips in the center ...
GNA's user avatar
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38 votes

How do computers prevent computational errors?

how does a computer check to see if its correct? Most won’t. Your average desktop PC isn’t mission critical so there are only a few hardware checks, for example signed firmware and TPM checks, but if ...
winny's user avatar
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37 votes

Why are most COB LEDs physically yellow?

The actual LEDs are probably blue and the encapsulation contains phosphors to generate the rest of the spectrum. The phosphors used will appear yellow. Figure 1. The blue peak is direct emission from ...
Transistor's user avatar
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34 votes
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What is the standard procedure for analogue IC tapeout?

Congratulations! The opportunity to tape out a project of your own is an exciting, although potentially intimidating opportunity (as you yourself say). This is a going to be a pretty broad, high-level ...
nanofarad's user avatar
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33 votes

Why are chip designers called "triangle pushers"?

They are called "polygon pushers". polygon pusher: n. A chip designer who spends most of his or her time at the physical layout level (which requires drawing lots of multi-colored polygons). ...
Mario's user avatar
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31 votes

Is there a theoretical possibility of having a full computer on a silicon wafer instead of a motherboard?

can big silicon companies such as Intel, AMD produce a whole computer with cpu, chipset, RAM, memory controllers, all in a microchip? Keep in mind that what you might think of as one silicon wafer ...
user4574's user avatar
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27 votes
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Why are chip designers called "triangle pushers"?

Early masks for the creation of layers on an IC were created by a photographic process that involved exposing the original photographic plate through a mechanically controlled triangular aperture. ...
RoyC's user avatar
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21 votes

How do computers prevent computational errors?

Triple Modular Redundancy (TMR) For computers designed to operate in environments which may be affected by Single Event Upsets (SEU) due to radiation, e.g. for space or particle accelerators, Triple ...
Chester Gillon's user avatar
19 votes
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Why are most COB LEDs physically yellow?

Because white LEDs do not actually exist. The yellow you are seeing is a phosphor (a substance that absorbs light of one color and emits it again in another color) known as cerium-doped yttrium-...
forest's user avatar
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18 votes
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Why is this CMOS implementation of XOR wrong?

Have you tried simulating this design to see what it does? (I would not recommend actually building it.) Recall the basics of n-channel MOSFETs: they will conduct when the voltage at the gate (\$V_G\$)...
Matt S's user avatar
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17 votes

Why is the 8061 microcontroller described as having 256 bytes of internal memory?

Their terminology is sloppy IMO. In any case: 0x00 - 0x0F are specialized registers 0x10 - 0xFF are memory registers (SRAM) There are only 240 bytes of SRAM. If you need more SRAM than this, you can ...
Mattman944's user avatar
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16 votes

Is there a theoretical possibility of having a full computer on a silicon wafer instead of a motherboard?

Theoretically, yes. Wafer-scale integration has been discussed in the past. Practically, no. Manufacturing processes for DRAM and flash are customized and tweaked for those products, so there are ...
Elliot Alderson's user avatar
11 votes
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What does the "side-band" and "in-band" mean in the context of digital circuit?

Many digital interfaces have more than one method of passing information. The main one is usually at high speed and takes the majority of the capability of the medium. Any information along this path ...
Kevin White's user avatar
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10 votes

Why is the 8061 microcontroller described as having 256 bytes of internal memory?

The 120 * 16 is probably just 240 bytes - the 16 indicating a 16-bit wide register.
Kevin White's user avatar
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10 votes

Is there a theoretical possibility of having a full computer on a silicon wafer instead of a motherboard?

In addition to all the other answers: We are kind of getting there, where it makes sense. Early computers had dedicated chips for cache, graphics, audio, bus controller (PCI, AGP etc.), memory ...
Michael's user avatar
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10 votes

What is the reason some microcontrollers are designed to be powered with 5V or 3.3V while the most common battery is 3.7V?

Because the voltages micro-controllers run on has nothing to do with batteries. And you wouldn't want them to be, because battery voltages are not stable over time. A 3.7 V battery might be 4.2 V ...
GodJihyo's user avatar
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9 votes

Is there a theoretical possibility of having a full computer on a silicon wafer instead of a motherboard?

Sure, it’s possible. There’s several issues however: Manufacturing yield Process optimization I/O and power connections Memory Silicon defects increase with area. The larger the chip, the more ...
hacktastical's user avatar
8 votes

Why is the 8061 microcontroller described as having 256 bytes of internal memory?

The 8061 was a Ford-specific engine control product from the 1980s so the information available is pretty sketchy. Assuming it's similar to the 8096, the first 256 bytes of the memory map are devoted ...
Spehro Pefhany's user avatar
8 votes

Why aren't aluminum and nitrogen used as dopants in semiconductors, chips, etc.?

It's a whole series of engineering tradeoffs. For starters, Nitrogen isn't a dopant at all in crystalline Si. From an electrical standpoint, Boron is about 50% lower (0.045eV vs 0.067eV for Al) ...
Andrew Lentvorski's user avatar
8 votes

What's the point of memory compilers like OpenRAM or Synopsys Memory Compiler?

Memory compilers offer the following benefits as compared to memory designs consisting of arrays of flip-flops: Smaller area Faster speeds Lower power The Synopsys link mentions this as well: ...
toolic's user avatar
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8 votes

How do computers prevent computational errors?

Mainframes: Lockstepping Chester Gillon's answer has brought up lockstep safety in an embedded CPU. This concept also exists on the other end of the computing spectrum, in mainframes. The Wikipedia ...
Halifax's user avatar
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7 votes

Is there a theoretical possibility of having a full computer on a silicon wafer instead of a motherboard?

I think the existing answers explain quite well why you still need a motherboard, even for SoCs that integrate as much as possible into the chip. Fundamentally you are constrained by the need to ...
J...'s user avatar
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7 votes
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Which software is used to design (and simulate) IC?

Digital design Digital circuit design is usually done using a HDL language like Verilog or VHDL. This can be simulated on digital level with tools like Modelsim / Questa. https://eda.sw.siemens.com/...
GNA's user avatar
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7 votes
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Why is the Vcc pin almost always next to the GND pin?

Adjacent pins allow very short paths to the critical bypass capacitor. You always want the DC voltage between Vdd and GND to be pure DC with no glitches or ripples. Longer paths between bypass ...
glen_geek's user avatar
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6 votes

Chip Design Computer Generated Files for Fabrication Process

Chip making is a process of lithography, i.e printing. To do this you use masks, which are used to project patterns into Photo-Resist (PR) on the wafer. Sometimes the mask is used to block things, ...
placeholder's user avatar
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6 votes
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Difference between a memory cell and a memory chip?

Old school: A memory cell holds one bit of information, a 1 or 0. A bit and a cell can be used interchangeably. Memory chips are made up of one or more cells. In modern hardware, memory chips contain ...
Phil N DeBlanc's user avatar
6 votes
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Whats the cost to create your own custom ASIC chip?

An FPGA would be my first choice. FPGA logic design requires specialized skills if done properly. This could be done for under $5000 for a prototype (parts and a circuit board) if you do the PCB ...
qrk's user avatar
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6 votes

Why aren't aluminum and nitrogen used as dopants in semiconductors, chips, etc.?

Nitrogen forms molecular species with silicon instead of doping occlusions/lattice defects into crystalline silicon. The molecular silicon nitride is an insulator and was (is?) used as a dielectric ...
GT Electronics's user avatar

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