In other words, semiconductors
Chips, or semiconductor topographies, are, in fact, relevant to only a few companies in the Netherlands (ASML, ASMI). Almost everyone knows of microchips in all kinds of electronic equipment. What in the sixties of the twentieth century still provided a visible silvery “street and river scene” (transistors) in radios and TVs, has now been reduced to thumbnail images for electronic connections measured in hundredths and thousandths, thanks to nanotechnology.
And those connections can no longer be seen with the human eye. Its architecture is to be protected and this law is appropriate for this, because the Copyright Act apparently was not adequate, nor was the Patent Act.
According to ASML, a wafer is (quote from its website): “….. a thin circular slice of semiconductor material, often silicon, used to make discrete semiconductor devices and integrated circuits (chips).”
These are less than 1 mm thick and the diameter varies from 75 mm to 300 mm. The machine, called wafer stepper, manufactures the chips: (quote) “Stepper and scanner lithography systems (..) are used to print microchip circuit patterns onto silicon wafers. Operating at tremendous speeds, they can print hundreds of chips on every wafer, with features as small as 38 nm, and print up to about 100,000 chip patterns/layers per hour.”