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silicon
Last modified: Thursday, August 28, 2003 

A nonmetallic chemical element in the carbon family of elements. Silicon - atomic symbol "Si" - is the second most abundant element in the earth's crust, surpassed only by oxygen. Silicon does not occur uncombined in nature. Sand and almost all rocks contain silicon combined with oxygen, forming silica. When silicon combines with other elements, such as iron, aluminum or potassium, a silicate is formed. Compounds of silicon also occur in the atmosphere, natural waters, many plants and in the bodies of some animals.

Silicon is the basic material used to make computer chips, transistors, silicon diodes and other electronic circuits and switching devices because its atomic structure makes the element an ideal semiconductor. Silicon is commonly doped, or mixed, with other elements, such as boron, phosphorous and arsenic, to alter its conductive properties.

Silicon was first isolated and described as an element in 1824 by Jöns Jacob Berzelius, a Swedish chemist.

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For internet.com pages about silicon . Also check out the following links!

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Your PC's Second Most Important Silicon: The Chipset 
If the CPU is the brain of a personal computer, the motherboard is its nervous system.

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Hoover's: Silicon Laboratories Inc. Company Research - Find information on Silicon Laboratories with operations and products, financials, officers, competitors and more at Hoover's.

Hoover's: Silicon Graphics, Inc. Company Research - Find information on Silicon Graphics, Inc. with operations and products, financials, officers, competitors and more at Hoover's.

related categories

Integrated Circuits (ICs)

Microprocessors

related terms

ASIC

bunny suit

chip

chipset

clean room

controller

CPU

die

diode

FC-PGA

FPGA

integrated circuit

lithography

microprocessor

Moore's Law

MOSFET

PGA

pinout

PLD

printed circuit board

semiconductor

SIMM

SOI

transistor

wafer


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