The monolithic IC is constructed in basically the same manner as a "Bipolar Transistor", although the overall process requires a few additional steps because of the greater complexity of the IC. Its fabrication begins with a circular semiconductor wafer (usually silicon). This wafer is usually very thin (0.015mm - 0.3mm) and either 2.5cm or 5cm in diameter. The semiconductor serves as a base on which the tiny integrated circuits are formed and is commonly referred to as a "Substrate". Figure shows the IC construction.
When all of the IC's have been simultaneously formed, the wafer is sliced into many sections, which are commonly referred to as "Chips" or "Dice". Each chip represents one complete integrated circuit and contains all the components and wiring associated with that circuit. Once the IC's have been separated into individual chips, each IC must be mounted in a suitable package and tested.