A Non-Techie SemiSister Tackles The Elusive Semiconductor Language

A Non-Techie SemiSister Tackles The Elusive Semiconductor Language

Kate Roe, Phoenix-based SemiSister talks about semiconductor language.

Kate Roe, EV Group is a Phoenix-based SemiSister.

Not all SemiSisters are engineers. In fact, many of us joined this industry from a variety of career backgrounds with non-STEM educations including financial, business management, market research, marketing communications, journalism, and even liberal arts. For us, one of the greatest hurdles to overcome was learning a whole new lexicon of terms that get tossed about every day. In this humorous post, Kate Roe, Executive Admin/Marketing Coordinator at EVG offers this translation of the semiconductor language. 


I’m the first to admit I’m NOT “tech savvy” by any means… and most of my coworkers in the semiconductor industry would whole-heartedly agree. But I think what surprised me most when I first joined the industry was that there was a whole other “semiconductor language” that left me saying, “HUH??”

I guess there is a part of a tool called a chuck… I can’t lie, when I first heard this, all I could think of was Chuck Norris, Chuck Todd or (oops!)  Chuck E Cheese!

And isn’t a bond frame a part of a bike?  At least in cycling, it is…….

I think my favorite is the term “wafer.”  I mean because seriously, who OUTSIDE of the industry doesn’t think “Nilla” when they hear this term?  And wafer bonding – isn’t that two Nilla’s with frosting in between??  Wafer stacking – of course, a stack of Nilla’s.

And speaking of bonding… isn’t that what friends do over coffee – or even at a Semi Sisters event?  I guess you could say we “debond” when we leave, but hey, who knows…

Resist developing – isn’t that what Peter Pan did?  And if that is the case wouldn’t “advanced resist developing” mean an “angry Peter Pan?”

Plasma activation – turning on the TV – DUH!

I used to have illegal hot plates in my military dorm…. Pretty sure it means something different in the semiconductor industry…  Same with the bake module… the non-semiconductor term is “oven.”

I always thought advanced packaging was when you brought something to the UPS store for them to package before they shipped it off, guess I was wrong here…

OH, and I always use stamps on letters I send in the mail – because if I don’t, they get returned to me.  Go figure, huh?

Chamber… Where to begin??

Roll-to-roll hot embossing… frosting hot cinnamon rolls, right?

And isn’t honeycomb what is in the beehives?  I always thought it was, but guess what, I was wrong…

Resist lift off – to me that means the Space Shuttle is stuck on the ground and the countdown clock has stopped.

Thinning – hair loss!

Inspection station – I think there is one on the CA/AZ Border, right?

Stepper – you can find those at the gym.  They were big in the 90s!

Now mask alignment – VERY important!  It’s how you place the cucumbers on your eyes while your face is under a moisture mask at the spa.  I thought everyone knew this.

3D chip stacking – Hello!  PRINGLES!  Really, this is a no brainer!

When I was little, I had cavities in my teeth, guess that means something else in this industry…

The Semiconductor Industry – a whole new world with a whole new language… If I only had known before I arrived.

Sigh.