ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Computer microchip (centre) mounted on a substrate of gold. The microchip is a piece of silicon that has been microscopically etched and chemically engineered to form an integrated circuit (IC). The thin wires seen leading out from the microchip are the connections that link the microchip to the thicker, surrounding metallic pathways. These form part of the printed circuit on which the microchip is mounted, connecting it to other electronic components. A microchip is the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer, processing vast numbers of calculations every second.
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