Someone emailed me an Intel-related question – why are silicon wafers, used in chip production, round instead of squared or rectangular? The reasoning being, since the die pieces that are being cut out of the wafer are square, isn’t there waste at the edges? Couldn’t this be avoided with squared/rectangular wafers?
At one point in my Intel career, I knew the answer to this question. It was talked about during a fab tour soon after I was hired. But I’m a carpet-dweller, and far removed from the manufacturing process, so I’ve forgotten.
I’m sure this is a brain dead simple question for anyone who works in the fabs. So let’s have it? Why ARE wafers round?