The Making of an Intel Chip

Check out this captivating virtual journey deep into Intel’s cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing facilities, where the technological engines driving our digital world are brought to life.

In this immersive experience, you can move around in a full 360 degrees (for most of the video it is worth moving your mouse around — high speed access and 4K is recommended, but not necessary). The video unveils the astonishing intricacies hidden within clean rooms that are 1,000 times cleaner than the most sterile hospital operating environments. Get an up-close view of the state-of-the-art, multimillion-dollar machinery that is essential for crafting the microchips powering our modern era. And for the truly adventurous, take a virtual spin along the automated superhighways that whisk silicon wafers through this sprawling technological labyrinth. [Remember – you can drag your mouse left, right, up, down.]

Intel Newsroom Video via YouTube 2023

What makes this tour even more fascinating is Intel’s pivotal role in addressing the surging global demand for semiconductors. As our world continues to depend on technology, the demand for these microprocessors skyrockets. Intel, with its history and advanced manufacturing prowess, is positioned to meet the need for chips. 

As most MNT-EC Think Small readers know, the importance of ensuring a robust, sustainable, and secure semiconductor supply chain is paramount. To achieve this, in tandem with Intel and many other semiconductor manufacturers, we’re seeking to keep you updated on micro- nanotechnology programs across the USA with our community college partners (and we’re here to help them as they build new programs and need curriculum guidance and materials — if you are an educator or an administrator, you can learn more about our recent Intro to Nano Canvas course here). 

Intrigued by the latest in technology and its transformative potential? You can peruse our MNT site, of course. You can also visit the Intel Newsroom which shares groundbreaking technology news  covering developments in client computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data centers, and international news. 

Semiconductor Jobs – Knowledge Skills and Abilities

What Are KSAs and Why Are They Important for Your Future Career?

As you start exploring different career paths and preparing for your future, you may come across the term “KSAs.” But what exactly are KSAs, and why are they important?

MNT-EC, working with Industry Partners, including the SEMI Foundation and NIIT, created a document to help you navigate the Microsystems Process Technician career pathway.

In this blog post, we’ll break it down for you in simple terms.

What Are KSAs? 

KSA stands for Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities, but are also known as competencies. Companies and schools often create KSAs to help clarify what specific job requirements are, what you will need for a specific role, and ways you can pick the courses to help you develop skills for that career path. Some companies will ask the job candidate to create or answer questions around their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

In a nutshell, these are the attributes and qualities you need for successfully performing a job. They are typically demonstrated through relevant experience, education, or training. Let’s take a closer look at each one, pulling in the definitions from the PDF directly:

  • Knowledge is a body of information applied directly to the performance of a function: How well does a student understand a concept theoretically?

  • Skills are observable competencies needed to perform learned psychomotor acts: How well can a student execute a specific activity?

  • Abilities are competencies to perform an observable behavior or behaviors that results in an observable product: Does the student meet expectations outside of strictly technical expertise?

By combining knowledge, skills, and abilities, you can showcase a well-rounded profile to employers. Building knowledge through learning, acquiring skills through practice, and leveraging your innate abilities create a strong foundation for career growth and success. Assessing and developing your KSAs can help you align with the requirements of your desired field and enhance your potential for professional advancement.

You can review the new MNT-EC KSA document below in the PDF reader, or click the download button to save it to your computer (below the embedded PDF, keep scrolling…).

ASEE Videos on Future for Micro and Nanotechnology Technicians

The Micro Nanotechnology Education Center at Pasadena City College was highlighted within the official broadcast at this year’s American Association for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference. The video was presented as a case study and documentary of what MNT-EC and its students are doing in various programs, internships, and research opportunities.

MNT Center Director, Dr. Jared Ashcroft closes out the video explaining how the MNT-EC is working toward pulling together the different institutions, community colleges, universities, industries, and nonprofits, to get them working together. “The goal is to have the Micro Nanotechnology Education Center working as the glue that pulls all of these institutions together,” he said.

Here is the full 5 minute video (5 min, 41 seconds to be precise).

And here is the 60-second-ish trailer if you need the quick version:

Learn more about ASEE and the annual conference.

Random Small

November 1, 2022 Update:

#1: The National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2023 conference will be held April 13-15, 2023 on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus in Eau Claire, WI. The conference abstract submission window runs from October 3 to November 30, 2022.

NCUR is seeking volunteers to review abstracts submitted to the NCUR 2023 conference. They expect this review work to occur during the December 2022 timeframe, following the November 30 abstract submission deadline.

Anyone interested to serve as a reviewer should visit the Abstract Reviewers Wanted page, from there you can go to the Reviewer Signup page. Reviewers will be required to create a new account within the conference submission system if they do not already have one.

#2: Learn about the new NSF workforce development program TODAY, Nov 1 at 12PM Pacific time.

The U.S. National Science Foundation launched a new $30 million workforce development program, Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies, or ExLENT earlier this month. 

Learn more about the program by joining the Introduction to ExLENT webinar
on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. E.T.

Register for the Webinar
Click the link above left to register for this webinar.

ExLENT offers workforce development opportunities to help individuals gain valuable work experience in emerging technology areas such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, quantum information science, and semiconductors and microelectronics. With awards of up to $1 million over three years, the program will promote partnerships between organizations in emerging technology fields and those with expertise in workforce development. 

ExLENT proposals are due March 2, 2023. For more information, visit Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT).

#3: Sometimes the Think Small team is drinking from a firehose and cannot keep up… You can check out THREE New Scholarship and Internship opportunities linked below. BUT they will also be added to the Scholarship page in the Students & Families section by November 2, in case you want to share that page with students and faculty you know. Hint, hint.

  1. Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education
  2. 2023 MSTP Summer Scholars
  3. Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Innovation and Tech Transfer Idea Competition (MITTIC)

October 3, 2022 Update:

The news section you are in right now is called Think Small. It is where we publish various news-oriented content; something that demands a longer article usually. But we have not had a way to collect and curate the many cool things that you – MNT partners, members, educators and students, and others, occasionally want to share.

Welcome to the new series I’m tentatively calling “Random Small” to provide us with a bucket, and I mean that in the most positive way, in which to put these important, but shorter tips, job or internship postings, upcoming events that we didn’t have a chance to get on the calendar (yet), and other, well, random items that need a home. You get the idea and here’s a few for this first post.

  • Normandale Community College is considering offering an 8-week section of its “Foundations of Vacuum Science” online course (VACT 1010). This course is designed for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career as a technician whose role it will be to support maintenance and troubleshooting of vacuum systems. The start date for this class would be Monday, October 17th, and the class would conclude by mid-December.
    • If you have a prospective student or others in your networks, especially organizational contacts. They can contact Kim Klein ( if interested in this class. Kim will be able to help them with the registration process.

  • Every year the NNCI has the “Plenty of Room at the Bottom” photo contest. Lots of great entries and if you receive our email newsletter, then you saw the hedgehog photo, which was a Most Whimsical winner from last year, which is from:Artist: Evgeniya Moiseeva, Huson Lab, University of Louisville. Tool: Thermo Scientific Apreo C SEM. Description: Solidified droplets of Gold on the side of the E-Beam evaporation ceramic crucible.

  • On our MNT LinkedIn page, you will find updates on colleagues, job listings, internship and apprenticeship opportunities, and more. Plus, as you’ve read above, we’re trying to include many of those items here on Random Small. The linked post takes you to a recent University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineering job for a  Nanofabrication Lab Technician.
    • Note: We are considering a jobs/internship/career-oriented email on a 2 to 4 times per month basis. If you are interested, drop TJ an email. Again, we do post some of these on LinkedIn.

  • The MNT Calendar has the latest workshops and professional development webinars that you may find informative or worth sharing with your students and colleagues. 

  • more tk


TJ McCue, Editor

P.S. Feel free to drop me an email note if there’s something you think we should know about.