Where to get CPU Wafer

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Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:19 pm

I figured I'd throw this on The Back Porch since it's a bit off topic for the Hardware forums. Does anybody know if average Joe's like us can get microprocessor wafers like so? I could care less what's on the wafer (CPUs or GPUs), I just think it'd be pretty sweet to hang one up in my man-cave. There are a few on ebay but nobody seems to know what's on them.
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:25 pm

I don't know, but I would ask my college professors, several of which had them for class examples or decoration.

I think they got them from past work with Texas Instruments, etc., but I imagine you could track one down for yourself.

EDIT: actually, you could probably get one for yourself if you work for a company like that, too :lol:
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:32 pm

Yeah, google returns some results of a "silicon wafer" search. I guess what I'm looking for is:
1) A trusted retailer
2) Somwehere I can get "cool" wafers like fairly recent CPUs and GPUs. I'd like to put a placard on the frame saying something like "AMD Bulldozer FX-8150 CPU wafer" (for example). I suppose this would be synomynous with large selection.
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:36 pm

Probably gonna be tough to get an entire wafer of anything current. The large wafers used these days are expensive, and unless yields are very close to zero the manufacturer is going to cut the good dice out of the wafer and sell them to recover as much of their investment as possible.
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:38 pm

I imagine Intel, GloFo, or TSMC scraps a ton of wafers in transitions to new process nodes? (maybe?) What happens to those? I might have to give Otellini a call today after work, he can probably hook me up.
Last edited by DPete27 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:39 pm

Try an alternative search like "poster" or "portrait." I know it isn't a real wafer (which would be cooler), but a good view of a die magnified to see detail could be pretty rad, too.
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:52 pm

IIRC, the only friend which I know has one is an Intel employee -- it was mounted on a plaque which was given out to a project team in commemoration of achieving some major milestone.
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:28 pm

These things rarely escape semiconductor companies. I don't know why, but I do know that companies throw these things away and don't let people walk out with them.
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:36 pm

TurtlePerson2 wrote:These things rarely escape semiconductor companies. I don't know why, but I do know that companies throw these things away and don't let people walk out with them.


This might be a large part of the answer:

http://www.ciol.com/ciol/news/53986/ibm-recycle-silicon-wafers-solar-industry

The manufacturers don't want anyone to take a wafer with recent technology chips to someone with serious imaging equipment. So they "remove intellectual property" (what a silly term), then reuse the wafers. Either that, or the wafers are pulverized and recycled.
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:38 pm

Damage's man cave has one I believe.
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:11 pm

Wirko wrote:The manufacturers don't want anyone to take a wafer with recent technology chips to someone with serious imaging equipment. So they "remove intellectual property" (what a silly term)

Less silly than you might think. In a past job years ago, I performed high-magnification review of silicon chips to investigate whether a device was using a design on which some other company held a patent. The value of this exercise was limited by the fact that it is relatively difficult (and thus expensive) to cleanly remove a silicon die out of its packaging, and thus the client had to be reasonably certain it would contain something worth finding.

Under the right circumstances, obtaining an entire wafer's worth of unpackaged dies would open the intellectual property equivalent of Pandora's box.
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Re: Where to get CPU Wafer

Postposted on Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:05 pm

ludi wrote:Under the right circumstances, obtaining an entire wafer's worth of unpackaged dies would open the intellectual property equivalent of Pandora's box.

With that, you could probably plop a few into a PCB or breadboard, too.
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