silicon

noun
sil·​i·​con | \ ˈsi-li-kən How to pronounce silicon (audio) , ˈsi-lə-ˌkän \

Definition of silicon

: a tetravalent nonmetallic element that occurs combined as the most abundant element next to oxygen in the earth's crust and is used especially in ferrosilicon for steelmaking, in other alloys, and in semiconductors — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of silicon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Qualcomm’s silicon will help ensure that the drone remains level and in the middle of its 33-by-33-foot airfield by analyzing feeds from onboard cameras and other gear. Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Liftoff on Mars: Ingenuity helicopter to attempt 1st flight Sunday evening with Qualcomm chip," 9 Apr. 2021 Chip makers use lots of water to clean their factories and wafers, the thin slices of silicon that form the basis of the chips. New York Times, "Drought in Taiwan Pits Chip Makers Against Farmers," 8 Apr. 2021 So the tech industry is in search of other wonder materials to take good old silicon’s place—or at least combine with it to vastly increase its capabilities. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Graphene and Beyond: The Wonder Materials That Could Replace Silicon in Future Tech," 27 Mar. 2021 The company claims this results in higher performance per millimeter of silicon, saving die area for computation. Karl Freund, Forbes, "The Cambrian AI Landscape: GROQ," 25 Feb. 2021 Intel takes advantage of these two nearly identical pieces of silicon sitting alongside one another, and ties them together through a common software framework, Moss said. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel's Iris Xe Max GPU brings graphics chops to thin-and-light laptops," 31 Oct. 2020 The company also works with university researchers on nanotube technology and other ideas to move past silicon as the foundation material for semiconductors. Evan Ramstad, Star Tribune, "SkyWater, Minnesota's largest chipmaker, will jump into the IPO frenzy," 23 Mar. 2021 Now automakers are realizing that silicon can be a very competitive aspect of differentiation. Patrick Moorhead, Forbes, "GlobalFoundries And Bosch Partner On MmWave Radar, Reinforcing Silicon Is Strategic," 11 Mar. 2021 An underlying silicon chip orchestrates the functioning of the photonic part, and also provides temporary memory storage. Will Knight, Wired, "This Chip for AI Works Using Light, Not Electrons," 10 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'silicon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of silicon

1817, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for silicon

New Latin silica + English -on (as in carbon)

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Time Traveler for silicon

Time Traveler

The first known use of silicon was in 1817

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Statistics for silicon

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Silicon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/silicon. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for silicon

silicon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of silicon

: a chemical element that is found in the Earth's crust and is used especially in computers and electronics

silicon

noun
sil·​i·​con | \ ˈsi-li-kən How to pronounce silicon (audio) , ˈsi-lə-ˌkän \

Kids Definition of silicon

: a chemical element that next to oxygen is the most common element in the earth's crust and is used especially in electronic devices

silicon

noun
sil·​i·​con | \ ˈsil-i-kən How to pronounce silicon (audio) , ˈsil-ə-ˌkän How to pronounce silicon (audio) \

Medical Definition of silicon

: a tetravalent nonmetallic element that occurs combined as the most abundant element next to oxygen in the earth's crust and is used especially in alloys symbol Si — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on silicon

Nglish: Translation of silicon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about silicon

Comments on silicon

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