How Microchips Are Made

When Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit in 1958, he had no notion that microchips would one day become foundational to our everyday lives. Today, everything from mobile phones to microwaves runs under the direction of integrated circuits.

Microchips are manufactured in fabrication facilities (known in the industry as ‘fabs’). Although the manufacturing process varies depending on the purpose and complexity of the item, it typically involves the following steps.

Refining the Silicon

Silicon, the basic elemental building in sand, is the starting point for making integrating circuits. Silicon is a semiconductor, meaning it conducts electricity in some circumstances and acts as an insulator in others; this property of ‘on/off’ conductivity makes it the perfect material for transistors.

Transistors are simple devices used to amplify electrical signals or act as switches that control the flow of electricity. Multiple transistors can work in combination to represent the Boolean operators “and”, “or” and “not”, which form the basic computer operating language.

However, silicon is only useable in microchip manufacturing in its purest form. Therefore, fabrication facilities must first refine the silicon sand to produce 99.9% pure silicon ingots. The manufacturers heat silicon to a melting point, then plant a pure silicon ‘seed’ into the molten mixture. The molten silicon forms a chemical bond to the seed and mimics its properties. The resulting ingot pulled from the mixture has the same characteristics as the perfect seed and can be used in manufacturing circuitry.

Forming Silicon Wafers

The pure silicon ingots are then slice into ‘wafers’ of a specific thickness and diameter. Typically, the wafers are cut to the thickness of a dime and a diameter of 8 to 12 inches. These wafers are then polished. Each wafer can be used to build multiple microchips.

Depositing Conducting and Non-Conducting Layers

Each chip is covered in alternating layers of conducting and non-conducting material. The first layer, a non-conducting film, is deposited directly onto the silicon base. The number and order of subsequent layers varies depending on the chip being produced.

Individual layers are overlaid with a photosensitive chemical called photoresist, which creates a mask that covers certain areas and exposes others. The exposed areas can be etched to varying depths to create a complex landscape of circuit pathways.

Layers of metal are deposited to create conducting paths between the etched components. These metal film layers are created using deposition processes such as radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering. RF magnetron sputtering can be used to produce extremely thin metal films such as aluminum, silicon or tantalum.

Once the steps are complete, the manufacturer deposits a final protective layer over the whole of the chip.

5 Main Guidelines To Boost E-Commerce This Season

The spring/summer season may appear to be far away when you’re centered around work every day. However now’s really the ideal time to design a stunning spring/summer shopping knowledge for your clients. From every social media selling technique to simple financing choices, tap into these five main guidelines to help boost your deals.

  1. Utilize customized promoting

Personalization gives you a chance to take an extraordinary in-person shopping knowledge—you know, one where the business relates recollects your name and encourages you to find precisely what you’re searching for—and reproduce it on the web. Those online encounters are driven by information, so ensure your stage’s prepared to gather it. Begin with something as straightforward as social event your client’s name and email address. Urge site guests to impart that information to you by offering an initial offer—a free delivering code or 10% off their first request, for instance. When information is caught, it very well may be utilized to customize all components of the web-based shopping background, from respecting a client to your site to reminding her around a surrendered truck to sending a thank you email and inquisitive about her fulfillment with an item.

  1. Make mobile-optimized shopping experiences

Numerous sites neglect to perceive the significance of portable and neglect to streamline their site as needs are. A positive client encounter implies having a direct site that is anything but difficult to utilize and explore and that likewise looks as great on a cell phone as it does on a tablet. In case you don’t know whether your site is versatile prepared, simply ahead and haul out your telephone at the present time and complete a snappy outline. Simply make sure to keep it straightforward.

  1. Sell directly on social media platforms

Social media accounts represent over 30% of the time that buyers spend through online. Facebook, Instagram, and Pins let you run down and move items specifically in client channels, enabling buyers to make a purchase without visiting your site. In addition, clients regularly share the items they perused or purchased—a promoting win for any brand moving on the web. Rather than posting your items on each social platforms and seeking after the best, make it strategic. Figure out where your most drawn in the gathering of people is and concentrate thereby making a shopping knowledge that sets consummately with the stage.

  1. Publish season themed content

It’s always the period of giving, so spread some cheer with occasion themed content! Season-themed content is the ideal method to add a happy touch to your informing. In addition, clients have demonstrated that they acknowledge when brands set aside the opportunity to include a touch of occasion enjoyable to their promotion.

  1. Utilization of advocacy advertising

There are a few different ways to utilize backing promoting to expand web-based business deals, however, for with regards to driving occasion deals, we prescribe the time-tested support advertising program. In a promotion showcasing program, your dependable fans and clients are welcome to participate in your substance advertising endeavors. Clients join your program by joining with their internet-based life profile. After they go along with they have the chance to win focuses and win prizes by imparting your substance to their companions, family, and supporters.

I Went Looking for the Best Stroller Bike on the Market — Here’s What I Found

I’ve become a big proponent of active transportation. For me, it’s part thrift and part fitness: I appreciate the health benefits of walking or cycling instead of driving, and the price of gas is so high that I couldn’t afford to drive everywhere if I wanted to. I’m currently without a bicycle (mainly because the rate of theft in this town is insane), but I am in the market for one, so I always turn my head when I see a cool-looking bike speeding down the lane.

Recently, I came across something particularly intriguing: what looked like an oversized bike with a child seat in the front, and a third wheel folded on the side. I’ve seen plenty of people hauling kid trailer behind their bikes in town, but this was new. And weird. Obviously, I had to look into this.

Through a bit of Googling, I discovered the stroller bike: a weird hybrid bicycle that can actually fold into a push stroller. While I am currently childless (as well as penniless, soulless, etc.) I was intrigued and compelled to start looking up stroller bike reviews.

What surprised me was this: even though there seems to be tons of interest in stroller bikes, and high-ranking articles about them on major sites like Treehugger and GoodGood, there are very few actual stroller bikes out there.

In fact, there’s really only two options. Sort of.

So What’s the Best Stroller Bike on The Market?

The two biggest names in this category are Wike and Taga USA Inc. The former has a product called the Salamander, and the latter is the company behind the Taga, a product that successfully raised millions in Crowdfunding on Kickstarter (turns out the bike on the street I saw was a Salamander).

You’ll notice I added a link above to the Salamander but not the Taga. There’s a reason for that. Taga USA Inc., along with its website, no longer exists.

From what I can tell, here’s the story. Following the success of the Taga stroller bike, the company launched a second Kickstarter campaign for a new product called the Taga 2.0. It worked. Then, they rolled out an Indiegogo campaign for the same thing. But before it could deliver on its promises to the Indie backers, company fell into bankruptcy, resulting in hundreds of people not getting the bikes they ordered.


On the upside, the Wike Salamander is still rolling along, and it looks to be a pretty awesome product. I actually prefer the two-wheeled configuration to Taga’s three wheels, because bikes handle turns much better than trikes do (and face it, they look much cooler).

Wike has been in the bike business for 20 years, and the Salamander isn’t their only product, so it’s unlikely they are going to crumble like Taga did.

At this point, there’s no doubt the Salamander is the best stroller bike on the market, and I want one. But I’ll probably have a kid first. Or maybe a dog.

New Projects Around The House

Renovating any part of your home can be tough.  Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring contractors, there are always so many decisions to be made.  With Woodplans Project, we here will help you with those decisions regarding designs, color, appliances, furniture and everything else that comes with renovating your house.

When you decide to start a renovation project, you need to organize everything in extreme detail.  The measurements, blueprints, and designs should all be finalized before you start.  The furnishings can come into play a little later, but usually you have a vision when you renovate which means the furniture is generally picked out.  Depending on your style, the renovation can take a short amount of time or a long time.  Plan it out with all the details and your project will be completed on time and the way you want.

The Lure of Cottage Living

Have you ever spent time at a cottage? I mean some real time, not just a weekend with friends where you spend half of your time too drunk to move. My family owned a cottage in Southampton, Ontario for four decades and it became a very important part of my life. I would spend entire summers at this retreat near the shore of Lake Huron and it really expanded my horizons. The appeal of small town living became crystal clear for the first time.

As I get older, that tranquility and comfort that comes from escaping the rat race becomes even more pronounced. After decades of sitting in traffic, waiting in lines, and dealing with a barrage of rushed and rude people every day, the slower pace of life in cottage country is immensely appealing. I never imagined spending my golden years in a small town, but now it is near the very top of my list of goals.

Even though I have been spending time in cottage country since my very earliest days of childhood, there is always a period of adjustment for the first 24 hours or so. The pace is slower—more civilized, if you will. I get a bit impatient at first, but then remember that, yes, this pace is the one we were meant to have in life, not the one where we run around like we’re on fire.

I also love the long walks on the beach (three very spacious and lovely beaches in Southampton), swimming in Lake Huron, and taking the tour boat to nearby Chantry Island, a bird sanctuary with a very lovely old lighthouse.

Everyone has their own form of escape and Ontario cottage country is definitely mine. I hope one day to afford a small home in the area where I can look out at the lake as the sun rises and sets.

The Perils of Apartment Hunting (or, Why I Need to Buy the Best Small Fridge I Can Afford)

I’m shopping for a fridge. Not just any fridge: I need to purchase the best small fridge I can afford.

The key word here is small.

See, I’m looking for a place to live. This isn’t the first time I’ve gone apartment-hunting; I’ve lived in three different apartments so far in my life, and now I’m looking to add a fourth to the list.

But I don’t remember apartments being so absurdly expensive. Or so tiny.

Since I graduated college two years ago, I’ve been living back home at my parents’ place to save money. And after two years of diligent penny-pinching and investing, I’d like to get back out in the world and stand on my own two financial feet again (hopefully for good this time).

So I hopped online, went to Kijiji, and eagerly started browsing the rental listings. I was fresh, and young, and full of hope. I imagined all the different neighbourhoods I could call home — the Junction, the Ward, Two Rivers, maybe even a spot Downtown.

Then I saw the prices.

Maybe I should have expected this. After all, a lot has happened in two years. There was a change in government, the peak of an insane housing bubble, and sweeping changes to the residential tenancy laws in Ontario. Or maybe this town has always been this pricey. Who knows?

The fact is, the stock of rental housing below $1,000 a month has all but evaporated. For me, that’s a problem.

Sure, there are still some units out there in the $800-$1,000 range. But that brings us back to the whole ‘small fridge’ thing.

To date, I’ve visited three apartments that fall within my budget. Though all were in different styles of buildings and located in different areas of town, they had three things in common:

  1. They were basements apartments.
  2. No full kitchen (just a sink and some countertops, which is apparently called a ‘kitchenette’)
  3. They’re TINY!

In one unit, the ceiling was barely two inches above the top of my head. And I’m only 5’6’’.

But I can make this work. I’m determined to get back out on my own, and if that means living in a tiny basement with no kitchen, I can do it. Lucky for me, this wasteland of affordable housing is also home to the appliance maker Danby, which has a warehouse that sells refurbished items on discount.

So if it comes down to it, I’ll hunker down with a small fridge and a hotplate, and try to make the best of things. While I’m at it, I should probably pick up an air conditioning unit that sits in your window. Look on the bright side: at least these places have windows!

The Unique LA Summer Market is Returning to Santa Monica

Unique LA is an two day shopping event that features the best in local designs from more that 150 participants. You can close out your summer at this fresh, modern, alternative to shopping at the mall. This market gives shoppers the opportunity to meet and buy directly from the artists of small business owners.

A one-of-a-kind shopping experience, visitors will be treated to an amazing selection of amenities for a fun, interactive experience. Admission includes: free drinks from Califia Farms, GT’s Kombucha, and Bundaberg, snacks from Quaker Oats and Late July, DIY projects with ART CAMP, photobooth fun with Oh Snap Studios, espresso bar from Take Flight Coffee and luxurious lounges by Archive Rentals.

Unique Markets Shop Local
Tickets are $15 for general admission (kids under 12 are free) and Bosslady VIP tickets will sell for $25 while quantities last. Admission includes a special edition tote bag designed by artist Mallory Cohn, inspired by summer in Los Angeles. The artists at the market are 150 hand selected designers and artists (curated fro over 400 applicants)

Unique LA was started by Sonja Rasula in December 2008 to showcase talented independent designers while helping to support the local economy.

How To Accessorize

Learning how to accessorize is all about learning how to express yourself.  Some people love statement pieces and layering a bunch all at once to get a more mismatched edgy look while others love simple and delicate pieces just to tie an outfit together.  It’s all about how you feel like expressing yourself that day.  You never have to sticking to one style – feel free to be eccentric one day and classic the next.  Fashion is all about presenting how you feel day-to-day to the people around you.

Here are a couple of ideas to tie a look together:

If you’re going for a classic look, wearing a nice, gold-chained watch with a matching gold necklace would make you appear very elegant and put together.

jewA great way to accessorize easily is to simple wear a statement necklace with a black top or dress.  It dresses anything casual up a little bit without trying too hard.

So just test out looks and outfits with different accessories and just wear what you feel represents you!