Encyclopedia > Microelectronics

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Microelectronics is a subfield of electronics. Microelectronics, as the name suggests, is related to the study and manufacture of electronic components which are very small. These devices are made from semiconductors using a process known as photolithography. 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.

Digital integrated circuits consist mostly of transistors. Analog circuits comonly 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.

As techniques improve, the size of microelectronic components continue to decrease. At these smaller scales, previously unimportant physical effects, called parasitic effects, are magnified. The goal of the microelectronics engineer is to find ways to compensate for or to minimize these effects, while always delivering smaller, faster, and cheaper devices.

See also: electrical engineering, digital circuit, analog circuit.

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