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Definition: strained silicon

A technique that deposits silicon (Si) on top of silicon germanium (SiGe) for making transistors on a chip. In so doing, the silicon atoms are stretched ("strained") to line up with the silicon germanium atoms, which are wider apart. This causes less resistance in the silicon and increases performance. AmberWave Systems Corporation, Salem, NH (www.amberwave.com) is a pioneer in this technology. In 2003, IBM announced it could make strained silicon with silicon crystals instead of germanium, making it considerably easier to manufacture. See silicon germanium.

Strained Silicon
When the silicon is adhered to the silicon germanium, the silicon atoms are stretched.