Young Radio Ham Makes Own Integrated Circuits

17-year-old radio amateur Sam Zeelof KD2ENL has turned his parent’s garage into a 1970s-era chip fab, albeit with technology that’s a few steps back along the curve of Moore’s Law.

Zeloof says he has been working on his garage fab, located in his home near Flemington, N.J., for about a year. He began thinking about how to make chips as his “way of trying to learn what’s going on inside semiconductors and transistors. I started reading old books and old patents because the newer books explain processes that require very expensive equipment.”

A key moment came when Zeloof found radio amateur Jeri Ellsworth AI6TK's YouTube channel, where she demonstrated how she had made some home-brew silicon transistors a few years ago. “After I saw [Ellsworth’s] videos I started to make a plan of how I could actually start to do this.”

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Sam Zeelof KD2ENL -

Jeri Ellsworth AI6TK -