short for: microchip, a.k.a. semiconductor

The incredibly complex yet tiny modules that store computer memory or provide logic circuitry for microprocessors.

Perhaps the best known chips are the Pentium microprocessors from Intel. The PowerPC microprocessor, developed by Apple, Motorola, and IBM, is used in Macintosh personal computers and some workstations. AMD and Cyrix also make popular microprocessor chips. There are quite a few manufacturers of memory chips. Many special-purpose chips, known as application-specific integrated circuits, are being made today for automobiles, home appliances, telephones, and other devices.

A chip is manufactured from a silicon wafer (or, in some special cases, a sapphire wafer), which is cut to size and then etched with circuits and electronic devices. Chips are made out of semiconducting materials, and they alone can duplicate the function of several transistors and other electronic components. The achievement of chip manufacturing technology has spread the use of computer technology throughout society. A chip is also sometimes called an IC or integrated circuit.

In addition to computers and appliances, microchips are used in RFID, primarily for animal tracking and medical patients. However they are also used for so-called security purposes, for example, some employees are asked to have a microchip implanted in their arm so they can identify themselves by holding their arms in front of a scanner (as opposed to wall humping).

NetLingo Classification: Technical Terms