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Essential Guide to Semiconductors, The by Jim Turley

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Clean Rooms and Fabs

Chip factories are called fabs, short for fabrication facilities. A fab looks like a normal two- or three-story office building from the outside. It's the inside that's special. Although most fab buildings do include some normal office space for the employees, most of the interior space is dedicated to one or more “clean rooms.” It is inside these clean rooms that chips are made.

The term clean room understates the truth. These rooms are phenomenally, spectacularly, unbelievably clean. The best hospital operating room is filthy in comparison. Clean rooms are from 1,000 times to 10,000 times cleaner and more sanitary than any operating room. They are designed with fanatical attention to details that will keep the entire room ...

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