Memory chips are used to make RAM modules, graphics cards, and other computer components. Few manufacturers produce the actual memory chips. Most RAM module manufacturers buy chips from the chip makers, assemble components with the chips, and sell them with their own brand labelling.
Memory chips consist primarily of silicon, which is obtained from sand. The process of making sand into silicon involves melting, cutting, polishing and grinding. The silicon is pressed and cut into integrated circuits.
The silicon is made into an ingot, or single-crystal cylinder six to eight inches wide. The cylinder is cut into wafers that measure less than one-40th of an inch thick. These wafers are pressed into various integrated circuit parts with the aid of computers.
The circuit is coated with a layer of glass by exposing the silicon to temperatures of 900 degrees Celsius for an hour or longer. Afterward, the unit is coated in a nitride layer. A number of different textures are created in the circuits during this process.
The connecting pins or leads are added during a process called bonding. The pins are made of either gold or tin. These pins are used to electrically connect the chips to components they will comprise.