The Costs of Making a DRAM Chip]

Eugen Leitl
Sun, 26 Jan 2003 12:45:22 +0100 (CET)

On Sat, 25 Jan 2003, Mr. FoRK wrote:

> > Uh oh. Aren't we running out of nitrogen gas?
> You are joking right? The planetary atmosphere is what, something like 70%
> nitrogen gas?

The planetary atmosphere is not made frome pure, dry, particulate free 
nitrogen. It takes a lot of energy and effort to fabricate this. That's 
why it's expensive (though liquid nitrogen is less expensive than milk by 
the gallon, since still being a byproduct of oxygen production via air 
liquifaction for steel production -- you'll still remove oxygen traces 
and dry it, and put it through microfilters before using, though).
Ditto applies to water. The deionized stuff coming out of a Millipore is 
not exactly free. Silicon Valley is not exactly one of the world's 
cleanest places. It's gotten lots better since the piggie days of the 
industry, but making chips is a dirty business.

> >From - dry air at sea level is 75% by
> weight, %78 by Mole (although what a mole is doing up in the air I don't
> know...)