A homemade 1000+ transistor array integrated circuit!
In 2018, Sam Zeloof made the first homemade integrated circuits in a garage fab. Sam was a senior in high school when making the Z1 amplifier, and now as a senior in college, there are some improvements to the amateur silicon process.
The Z1 had 6 transistors and was a great test chip to develop all the processes and equipment. The Z2 has 100 transistors on a 10µm polysilicon gate process – same technology as Intel’s first processor. My chip is a simple 10×10 array of transistors to test, characterize, and tweak the process but this is a huge step closer to more advanced DIY computer chips. The Intel 4004 has 2,200 transistors and I’ve now made 1,200 on the same piece of silicon.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.