Enthusiast builds an integrated circuit with 1200 transistors in his garage

Modern processors rely on ultra-thin manufacturing processes and include billions of transistors packed in tiny chips. Is it possible to create a similar CPU at home? Of course not, but still it is quite possible to create a primitive processor at home. 

Several years ago, Sam Zaloof, a well-known self-taught enthusiast, created the first of its kind Z1 chip at home. It consisted of only 6 transistors. Now Zeluf decided to repeat the experiment, creating something much more complex. And he got an integrated circuit Z2 with 1200 transistors, made according to the 10-micron process technology. By comparison, the Intel 4004 - the world's first commercially available single-chip microprocessor - was manufactured using the same process technology and contained 2,300 transistors. 

The manufacturing process is described in sufficient detail both on the Zeluf website and in the video. The main thing was that there were no clean rooms and no clean chemicals.  

To manufacture the IC, the enthusiast needed water, alcohol, acetone, phosphoric acid, photoresist, 2% potassium hydroxide solution, Filmtronics P509 SOG film, 1% hydrofluoric acid and nitric acid. The last two substances can be replaced. As for the equipment, you need to have an electric stove, a tube furnace, a special apparatus for lithography, a microscope and a vacuum chamber for melting metal.


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