Silicon and gallium arsenide both begin their progression from raw crystal to electronic device similarly. Both materials are fashioned into what electronics manufacturers call wafers. These are flat, circular platters of purified material. Subsequent manufacturing steps create computer chips, solar cells or other electronic devices on top of these wafers. But it can cost about $5000 to make a wafer of gallium arsenide 8″ in diameter, versus $5 for a silicon wafer … The new Stanford process seeks to lessen this thousand-to-one cost differential by re-using that $5000 wafer.
via Stanford invention could lead to better, cheaper chips :: ElectronicsOnline.