Die of LM2576T monolithic integrated circuits step−down switching regulator (buck converter) which contains 162 active transistors (based on datasheet). The Biggest part of die on the left side is Built-in 3 Ampere power transistor and the damaged and fried part of die is clearly visible as a small black in power transistor section.
LM2576T monolithic integrated circuit die

A die, in the context of integrated circuits, is a small block of semiconducting material on which a given functional circuit is fabricated. Typically, integrated circuits are produced in large batches on a single wafer of electronic-grade silicon (EGS) or other semiconductor (such as GaAs) through processes such as photolithography. The wafer is cut (diced) into many pieces, each containing one copy of the circuit. Each of these pieces is called a die.

1-watt red power LED die

There are three commonly used plural forms: dice, dies, and die.[1][2] To simplify handling and integration onto a printed circuit board, most dies are packaged in various forms.

Manufacturing process

Main article: Semiconductor device fabrication

Most dies are composed of silicon and used for integrated circuits. The process begins with the production of monocrystalline silicon ingots. These ingots are then sliced into disks with a diameter of up to 300 mm.[3][4]

Typical NPN transistor. Size of die is roughly 1 mm × 1 mm.

These wafers are then polished to a mirror finish before going through photolithography. In many steps the transistors are manufactured and connected with metal interconnect layers. These prepared wafers then go through wafer testing to test their functionality. The wafers are then sliced and sorted to filter out the faulty dies. Functional dies are then packaged and the completed integrated circuit is ready to be shipped.


A die can host many types of circuits. One common use case of an integrated circuit die is in the form of a Central Processing Unit (CPU). Through advances in modern technology, the size of the transistor within the die has shrunk exponentially, following Moore's Law. Other uses for dies can range from LED lighting to power semiconductor devices.


See also


  1. ^ John E. Ayers (2004). Digital Integrated Circuits. CRC Press. ISBN 0-8493-1951-X. Archived from the original on 2017-01-31.
  2. ^ Robert Allen Meyers (2000). Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-226930-6.
  3. ^ From Sand to Silicon “Making of a Chip” | Intel. (YouTube video, streamed on Nov 6, 2009)
  4. ^ From Sand to Silicon “Making of a Chip” Illustrations. (n.d.)