In Introduction to Semiconductor Device Manufacturing, semiconductor expert witness Ron Maltiel writes:
Semiconductor technology is continuously evolving and becoming more prevalent in our lives due to the significant advances in the technology and decreases in cost. One of the prominent trends in semiconductor technology over the last 40 years has been the shrinking in size of the individual transistors. This increases the number of transistors that can be included in each new generation of products.
The following narrative is a basic introduction to the semiconductor fabrication (commonly referred to as fab) manufacturing process.
Some of the most common electrical devices used in Integrated Circuits (IC) are transistors and capacitors. Both are manufactured by carving structures directly into the top of a wafer (slice of semiconductor material), as well as by depositing material on top of the wafer surface.