When you think of modern computer technology, what comes to mind? Do you think of shiny computers and fancy new apps or social networking? Or do you think of Silicon Valley, the well-renowned center of computer technology in California? Silicon Valley is often regarded as the hub of computer and software developments throughout the United States and maybe even the world. Silicon Valley isn’t a valley made entirely of silicon, but is rather named such due to the significance of that naturally occurring element in computer technology. So just what is silicon and how is it used?
What Is Silicon?
Silicon, not to be confused with its man-made counterpart silicone, is one of the most abundant natural elements in the world. This element is defined as somewhere between a metal and a non-metal, with features of both types. Although it has been around since the beginning of time and is present in the Earth’s crust, it has only been used by humans since the mid-1800s. This material’s use is constantly increasing and expanding, to the point that there are now silicon wafer suppliers who provide silicon in wafer form to tech companies.
How Is Silicon Used?
As you may have guessed, an element that occurs naturally can be used in many forms, both technologically advanced and more rudimentary. It may come as no surprise, but this element that is found in the Earth’s crust is also often used in bricks and concrete. Silicon is also used as a fantastic semiconductor and can be found in all the modern technology, ranging from phones and computers to solar panels. When used as a semiconductor, silicon is typically flattened into a wafer format. It’s entirely likely that the many uses of silicon will continue to grow over time, as computer technology advances.