Silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the world. It is also a primary component in almost all electronic devises. Why is that the case you may ask? Well, let's take a look at why silicon is so popular when it comes to computer chips and silicon manufacturing.
Unlike other semiconductors, silicon's conductivity is very easy to change. Through the doping process, manufacturers can introduce elements that make silicon more conductive, less conductive, and even non-conductive. As a result, manufacturers can use fewer materials for chips and make more intricate circuits for increased function.
Silicon is the second most abundant element on Earth, behind only oxygen. It can be extracted from sand relatively easily. This availability, combined with the ease of creating circuits with silicon, makes it very inexpensive to produce, especially compared to other semiconductors.
Silicon is not the only semiconductor out there. Carbon and germanium also have similar properties. However, carbon is too brittle to use in chips. While germanium chips were used early in the computer era and the element is still sometimes used in chips today, silicon can remain a semiconductor at much higher temperatures than germanium. This becomes important when chips are deployed in computers near other electronic elements that retain heat.
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