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Why computer chips are green?

  1. Jan 29, 2010 #1
    Why do almost all computer chips have green color? Like the RAM, microprocessor, motherboard are mostly of green color. Does this green color have any relation with the fact that chips are made of silicon i.e. are they green due to the presence of silicon?
    I've also seen brownish color motherboards. But brown color chips are less observable than the green color. I was wondering why chips have color like green or brown. Any sort of help will be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2010 #2


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    I don't think they are really green...

    The colour of a metallic thin film is mostly determined by its thickness. Polished silicon is actually quite shiny, but gets dark ones processed.

    Also, when you mention motherboards; are you sure you are not simply referring to the PCB solder mask? This is usually green, but that has absolutely nothing to do with silicon. The solder mask is basically plastic paint used to protect the circuits; so it can be just about any colour (green, red and blue are all quite common).
  4. Jan 29, 2010 #3
    I'm not sure what color the actual integrated circuits are, but the packages that houses the ICs are usually black. Printed circuit boards are often coated in a green soldering mask -- is that the green you are referring to?


    EDIT: Yes what f95toli said... :) I promise to start reading the threads I reply to in the future.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2017
  5. Jan 29, 2010 #4
    The chips are dark blue and usually covered over with silver colored aluminum connections. High performance processors often have copper connections instead.

    As to the PCBS, they come in several colors, you simply have to order them different. Green has become a preferred color for production boards. Some companies prefer to use red and blue for prototype boards to aid in keeping them separate from the released products.

    - Mike
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