How Microchips work

Introduction

Microchips – also referred to as integrated circuits – are considered to be among the greatest technological achievements of the last century. Their invention has paved the way for a digital revolution that keeps changing the world to the present day. The range of devices that rely on microchips still increases at an amazing rate and includes (desktop and laptop) computers, servers, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, flash drives, portable music players, game consoles, cameras, televisions, electronic household appliances, elevators, cars and traffic guidance systems, airplanes, and countless others. It is often integrated circuits operating covertly that make our daily life so incredibly convenient.

They are fascinating pieces of technology that consist of millions or often billions of microscopic transistors. Just as fascinating as transistor counts is the speed that modern integrated circuits operate which can even be in the range of 4 gigahertz which is 4 billion operations per second. In the following chapters, the most interesting secrets of those engineering marvels will be uncovered.

Overview

Device Level

Circuit Level

Logic Gate Level

Register Transfer Level

Architecture Level

System Level