Hello again! Another day, another adventure!
On the second day of the field trip, we had the pleasure of visiting two companies which are on the edge of their field: Intel and Sorek! While intel is a quite famous company, Sorek is a company which specialises in the desalination of water. In essence: How to make salt water drinkable and usable for agriculture.
While heading there, we did however had the pleasure of stopping at Bet Guvrin-Maresha National park, where a great deal of history in regards to the history of the Jews can be found. From the catacombs to the living quarters, it gave an insight to how these people lived, and how they honored their dead.
At Intels factory in Israel, they actually construct their famous processors on silicon wafers. The transistors for these are of a size of 22nm, which is currently the smallest in the world. However, they are currently trying to reach a size of 10nm, but is quite difficult as they now work on a molecular level (the size is roughly 200 molecules). Really gives some perspective on how Moores law might stop eventually.
As part of their production, Intel as five facilities in Israel, where they specialise on construction on wafers. This is quite essential for the nation, as it makes up 1% of the total GPD of Israel, and also because it is a country which focuses heavily on technology. However, the creation of processors is a global one, as the process to make silicon is mainly done in Japan, and it takes several steps through several different countries for the product to reach the consumer.
To make a processor at the facility usually takes around 35 days to complete, when working at high capacity. For new chips and technology, it might take up to 3 months. Due to this heavily detailed and intricate process, no person knows the it from beginning to end. After the wafer is complete, It’s performance is checked, and then sent out for sorting. As such, they can produce up to 10 000 wafers a week with a 98-99% yield. Certainly a very interesting look into production of processors and embedded systems!
Sorek however, while very different from Intel, provides another a big challenge for the electrical engineer. With around 150 000 000 cubic meters of water produced per year using reverse osmosis, it is an essential part of the infrastructure of Israel. Also, with decreasing rainwater in the region due to climate change, desalination aquifers for shore, mountain & lake sources has become quite widespread. This water goes to a great deal of different interests: agriculture, industry & household use, where even 60% of water used in the agriculture comes from desalination. Israel currently hosts 5 plants in Israel, which can produce a total capacity of 590 000 000 cubic meters in a single year. This makes it the biggest way to produce fresh water to the nation, which is quite remarkable as it is an industry that was established in 2005. Now however, it dominates the industry.
To ensure that this is possible, the desalination plant not only has its own energy production from a gas/steam turbine cycle, it also requires a great deal of transformers, high voltage electrical engines and technology in regards to breakers and much more. To read more on the subject, please visit Soreks website: Sorek
So I hope that you have enjoyed this second blogg post in regards to our trip, and keep a lookout for the third which will come tomorrow!
Anton ter Vehn
Student Ambassador SER