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The deserts of Arizona are home to Intel's Fab 32, a $3billion factory that's performing one of the most complicated electrical engineering feats of our time.

It's here that processors with components measuring just 45 millionths of a millimetre across are manufactured, ready to be shipped out to motherboard manufacturers all over the world.

Creating these complicated miniature systems is impressive enough, but it's not the processors' diminutive size that's the most startling or impressive part of the process.

It may seem an impossible transformation, but these fiendishly complex components are made from nothing more glamorous than sand. Such a transformative feat isn't simple. The production process requires more than 300 individual steps.

We've taken an in-depth look at Intel's manufacturing method and distilled the whole process into 10 stages. So, to find out how sandcastles become Core i7 processors, read on - and prepare to be amazed.



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