This insightful Intel video explains how CPUs are made, in words you can actually understand

From the concept stages all the way to store shelves.

Credit: Intel

Yes, computer processors work. But have you ever wondered how they work? Today, Intel published a fascinating animated video outlining “key concepts and their roles in chip manufacturing.” The chatty “Chip” spokesprocessor that walks you through the video brings up memories of the cringeworthy Clippy introduced by Microsoft in Office 97 (and killed in 2014), nevertheless, it’s well worth spending five minutes to watch it if you’ve ever been interested in how the brain of your computer comes to life.

PC enthusiasts often toss around terms like transistors, silicon wafers, photolithography masks, interconnects, and substrates. Intel’s video provides a great high-level overview over what all that really means. Better yet, it does it in a friendly, approachable manner that you can actually wrap your mind around even if you don’t have an engineering degree. After watching it, you’ll better appreciate all the hard work that goes into the badass CPU at the heart of your gaming rig.

Check it out!

Want to dive even deeper down the rabbit hole? Yesterday, Intel also published a video diving deeper into transistor technology specifically, though it’s not quite as accessible for non-technical types. “Learn more about how we turn sand into the silicon chips that power the world,” it promises.

Intel’s been pushing more helpful information recently. Earlier this year, the company threw open the doors to its secretive overclocking labs, revealing what Intel engineers use to push CPU clocks to 11.

If you’re interested in more nuts-and-bolts looks inside how your PC’s components are made, several factory tours have shed light on various pieces of hardware. These aren’t as high-level as Intel’s chip video—they don’t explain basic concepts, just show you how the sausage is made—but they’re nevertheless illuminating.

We’ve taken our cameras inside a Gigabyte motherboard factory, while Gamers Nexus provided deep dives into the manufacturing of AMD’s Ryzen coolers, Cooler Master and DeepCool liquid coolers, NZXT cases, tempered glass, and copper heatpipes. We’ve embedded them all below for your viewing pleasure.

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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