A nonmetallic chemical element in the carbon family of elements. Silicon – atomic symbol “Si” – is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust, surpassed only by oxygen. Silicon does not occur uncombined in nature. Sand and almost all rocks contain silicon combined with oxygen, forming silica. When silicon combines with other elements, such as iron, aluminum or potassium, a silicate is formed. Compounds of silicon also occur in the atmosphere, natural waters, many plants and in the bodies of some animals.
Silicon is the basic material used to make computer chips, transistors, silicon diodes and other electronic circuits and switching devices because its atomic structure makes the element an ideal semiconductor. Silicon is commonly doped, or mixed, with other elements, such as boron, phosphorous and arsenic, to alter its conductive properties.
Silicon was first isolated and described as an element in 1824 by J��ns Jacob Berzelius, a Swedish chemist.
- silver satin
A type of cable used for plugging in a telephone. Silver satin is the name given to the wiring where pairs of wires run side-by-side.
Refers to transmission in only one direction. Note the difference between simplex and half-duplex. Half-duplex refers to two-way communications where only one party can transmit at a time. Simplex refers to one-way communications where one party is the transmitter and the other is the receiver. An example of simplex communications is a simple radio, which […]
The process of imitating a real phenomenon with a set of mathematical formulas. Advanced computer programs can simulate weather conditions, chemical reactions, atomic reactions, even biological processes. In theory, any phenomena that can be reduced to mathematical data and equations can be simulated on a computer. In practice, however, simulation is extremely difficult because most […]
- simultaneous multithreading
Abbreviated as SMT, simultaneous multithreading is a processor design technology that allows multiple threads to issue instructions each cycle. Simultaneous multithreading enables multithreaded applications to execute threads in parallel on a single multi-core processor instead of processing threads in a linear fashion.
- single-chip projector
Projectors using a single-chip produce color by spinning a wheel that contains red, green, blue and clear sections. This color wheel spins between the lamp and Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) to produce a composite full-color image. Contrast with three-chip projector which uses three DMDs.