Did you know?

One chip goes through up to 1200 process steps.


Silicon is the basis of nearly all semiconductor products worldwide. It’s the second most common element on Earth and can for example be found in sand. Silicon can be extracted from sand and purified by heating the sand in a furnace. The silicon is then formed into a silicon ingot.

Why do we use silicon?

Silicon has various advantages: First, it's pure: in a silicon ingot there is only one atom of impurity for every ten million silicon atoms. Second, it’s a very durable material. This means it is easier to handle in the form of very thin raw wafers cut from the silicon ingot for processing.

Silicon has some limitation in electrical characteristics. New materials are superior. Thus we are extending our silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) product range as demand for high-performance and energy-efficient technologies increases.

Design and Development

Chip design is the first step in developing our microchips. Our engineers translate customer requirements into detailed system specifications. Using advanced design tools the functional, logic and circuit designs of our chips are developed and verified in simulations. They are then turned into a highly complex design layout, which can contain over a billion transistors with massive wire routing. This final blueprint, known as a “tape-out”, is then used for mask production.

Did you know that our cutting-edge and highly complex Automotive microcontroller IC has around 1 billion transistors?


Frontend describes the process flow during which product requirements are patterned into and onto a wafer by creating different electrically active layers on each chip.

The mask set determines the patterns and can contain 10 to 50 individual masks, depending on the complexity of the chip. Per mask about 25 process steps are required.

The wafer is coated with light-sensitive chemical "resist" and exposed to light through a mask. After development, the "resist" maps the circuit design to the wafer in a process known as photolithography.

Now the desired parts are covered by the resist, while the rest can be removed by etching or treated by applying several dopants to the material.

Once the first layer is finished, the next layer of material is deposited and the process is repeated until multiple stacked layers build the complete functional chip design.

Finally, each chip on the wafer is tested before it is shipped to backend. Wafer level testing can be performed in backend as well.

The number of frontend steps can easily exceed 1,000.

At Infineon, we're pioneering Industry 4.0 standards with high levels of automation and worldwide self-optimizing work flows. Infineon Dresden is, for example, one of the most modern frontend semiconductor factories in the world.


In backend the wafer is sawed into thousands of chips, also known as dies, to begin what is called the "packaging" process. Each die is attached to a frame for wire bonding before it is encapsulated in plastic compound. The frame is cut and the pins are bent into shape. An alternative method to wire bonding includes the use of solder bumps to form the interconnect with the die.

The entire packaging process focuses on creating the optimal conditions for our sensitive products for extended lifecycles in the field. Application requirements such as small footprints, thin profiles and good heat dissipation determine the package type.

Every single unit is tested for compliance with high quality standards before our products leave Infineon. Over 20 billion units leave our testing locations every year.

Industry 4.0 is also growing at backend as automation and digitalization become more important: The Singapore manufacturing site is our first smart factory for backend, integrated in our global production network.


Finally, our products reach their final destinations and can do what they have been created for: making life easier, safer and greener.

Our products are based on an excellent understanding of market requirements and of our customers’ challenges. Together with our customers, we develop solutions that link the real and the digital world, helping to address global megatrends such as demographic shifts, social change, climate change, scarcity of resources, urbanization and digital transformation.

Our technology is used in all modern technologies, making us: Part of your life. Part of tomorrow.

In order to continue growing in terms of revenue and profit, we have to innovate with our Go-to-Market (G2M) approach. Product definition and selling must be based on an excellent understanding of market requirements and of our customers’ systems and their real challenges.