Sam Zeloof Homemade Z2 Silicon Chip
Sam Zeloof isn’t your ordinary 22-year-old undergrad student at Carnegie Mellon University, but one that has already created two homemade silicon chips. That’s right, his first one, the Z1, was created back in 2016 when he was still a high school student. Unlike its predecessor, the Z2 utilizes faster-switching transistor design based on wafers of a form of crystalline silicon known as polysilicon, and consists of a grid of 12 circuits, each with 100 transistors for a combined total of 1,200 transistors. Read more for a video and additional information.



The next step was etching each chip with acid before cooking them in 1,000° C furnace to bake in phosphorus atoms to adjust its conductivity. Transistors on Zeloof’s second-generation chips are approximately 10 times faster than those on his first and boasts features as small as 10 microns. One caveat: the Z2 is N-MOS technology, which means that no complementary logic can be implemented, thus possibly resulting in lower static power consumption.

Sale
Lenovo - 2021 - IdeaPad 3 - Gaming Laptop - 15.6' FHD Display - AMD Ryzen 5 5600H - 8GB RAM - 256GB Storage - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 - Windows 11 Home
21,415 Reviews
Lenovo - 2021 - IdeaPad 3 - Gaming Laptop - 15.6" FHD Display - AMD Ryzen 5 5600H - 8GB RAM - 256GB Storage - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 - Windows 11 Home
  • Fueled by the revolutionary AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series mobile processor, this IdeaPad gaming laptop delivers the wins; with 6 ultra-responsive cores, it's the new standard for gaming performance in innovative, thin, and light laptops
  • Includes free 3-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate - Play over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows PC; includes iconic Bethesda games, new day one titles, and the EA Play on PC catalog
  • 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU to supercharge your favorite games - Slingshot your gaming visuals with 120Hz refresh rate for tear-free gaming
  • 8GB 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM memory and 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage
  • 2 x 2W speakers with Nahimic Audio for Gamers; spacious gaming keyboard with white backlight; RJ45 Ethernet, 2x2 WiFi 802.11 ax, Bluetooth 5.0; 720p HD webcam and microphone array with privacy shutter; HDMI, USB-C

Sam Zeloof Homemade Z2 Silicon Chip

The chip is small, about one quarter the die area of my previous ICs (2.4mm^2) which makes it hard to probe. There’s a simple 10×10 array of N-channel FETs on each chip which will give me a lot of characterization data. Since it’s such a simple design, I was able to lay it out using Photoshop,” said Zeloof.